I-TEAM: She lost her baby after a misdiagnosis. Now, she wants to make sure it never happens to you.

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Monday, August 26, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

Cora Bryan lost her child following a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. Now, she wants to make sure it never happens to anyone else. (Source: WRDW)

FORT GORDON, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A study by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found nearly half of ectopic pregnancies are misdiagnosed.

Last week, we introduced you to an Army wife who says it happened to her at Fort Gordon. As a result, she lost her unborn baby.

Cora Bryan thought she was alone in her pain and suffering after a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. She is far from it.

"I blame myself,” Bryan said. “I’m fighting my depression a little more.”

An ectopic or tubular pregnancy is when a fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. As the baby grows, so does the risk of rupture that could lead to internal bleeding and even death.

The doctor gave Bryan methotrexate to end the pregnancy.

"It is a chemo drug used to kill growing cells, and it was to kill and break down the baby in the tube,” Bryan said.

But two weeks later, Bryan went back to the doctor.

“He’s like, you’re pregnant and it’s in the uterus,” Bryan said.

It was after the shot that was supposed to terminate the pregnancy.

“My world came crashing down,” Bryan said.

It was a miscarriage.

“Ten days,” Bryan said. “My baby felt everything for 10 days.”

So Bryan did what many other women would do in her case. She took to research.

"I try to wrap my head around it to understand,” Bryan said. “I tried research and it just doesn't make sense."

Research shows about 40 percent of ectopic pregnancies are misdiagnosed.

Dr. Jennifer Allen, an OB/GYN at Augusta University Health, did not treat Bryan, but she is an expert on ectopic pregnancies.

“So, I think there's a number of factors here; some different scenarios that can occur,” Allen said. “In some cases, the patient presents with no symptoms at all. Most commonly they would present with pain or bleeding."

Bryan says she did have a sharp pain before being diagnosed. She was also early along in her the pregnancy -- perhaps too early to detect a normal pregnancy.

The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology states, "a D&C is necessary to differentiate an ectopic pregnancy from a miscarriage before a woman is presumptively treated with methotrexate."

Bryan now knows she’s not the only one that’s been misdiagnosed. She’s now relying on the support of a Facebook Group called “Misdiagnosed Ectopic, Given Methotrexate.” The group has more than 600 members with stories just like Bryan’s.

"I want it out there for women to understand that misdiagnosis happens, but before it happens to you, get a second opinion,” Bryan said.

Bryan believes she’d be holding a newborn had she done just that.

An ultrasound and HCG test is the most common ways to determine whether a pregnancy is ectopic. Bryan had both done before receiving methotrexate.

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