The great NHS wait

Reading other people’s blogs over the last month has got me thinking about the differences between miscarriage treatment in the US and the UK. I know that there are many problems with healthcare in the US and I’m very glad that I don’t have to think about finances as part of my post miscarriage grieving process and that I don’t need to worry about insurance cover. But treatment in the UK through the NHS means there is a lot of “wait and see”. I have given a few examples of the differences below (I’m not an expert in US treatments, all in my info has been picked up from other people’s blogs and my own experiences. Please share if your experiences are different:)

* In the UK you need to wait until you have had three miscarriages before they will carry out any tests (even a simple blood test) and before you will be referred to a specialist to investigate why it keeps happening.

* In the UK you discover you are pregnant by using a home pregnancy test. After this you can make a doctors appointment but in my experience they don’t want to see you. They just say “congratulations, see the midwife at 10 weeks and they’ll book you in for a scan at 12 weeks”. Unlike the US there are no hCG tests, no midwife appointments with dopplers, no blood tests or other scans. Unless you start to miscarry, the first time you have any idea what is going on is at 12 weeks. I understand that if you’ve had a couple of repeat miscarriages you can get an early scan at 8 weeks but you have to fight for it, they don’t offer it as standard.

As I’ve said, I wouldn’t swap the NHS for the system in the States I just wish that there was a little more interest in early pregnancy in the UK. Having had two missed miscarriages (the first of which wasn’t discovered until 13 weeks due to a late scan following 9 weeks of constant nausea and other strong preg symptoms) I feel like with a few simple hCG tests or an early scan I could have avoided weeks of feeling horrid and I wouldn’t now be trying desperately to lose the weight gained from almost six months of unnecessary symptoms over two separate (unsuccessful) pregnancies.

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