Negative Tests. Symptoms All in My Head?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am currently on my 38th day of my cycle -- no period. I usually have one at the 28th-30th day. I am having trouble with heartburn, urinating a lot more then usual, and I sometimes am dizzy with nausea. Am I pregnant or is it something else?

I've taken four home tests and all come out negative. When can I get tested by the doctor and is it all in my head or am I truly pregnant?

ANSWER

There are several possibilities in the situation you describe:

1. You are pregnant, and are one of the 10% of women who are having a perfectly normal pregnancy but who do not test positive until 14 days after a missed period
2. You have suffered a very early miscarriage, and got the symptoms but not the baby
3. You are missing a period for no good reason that we can ever figure out
4. You have another medical problem which is causing your symptoms and the missed period

I usually suggest to my clients (this is hard) that they wait until they have missed a second period. If they still test negative, then we need to run a bunch of tests to figure out what the problem is.

Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Comments

blood test may help

I had the same thing happen to me: all the symptoms but no positive urine test, not even 14 days after the missed period. My OB/GYN ordered three quantitative blood analysis to test for the pregnancy hormone and to make sure it's increasing the way it should be. They were able to confirm my pregnancy in 24 hours, and I will find out this week if the third test indicates the baby is still growing normally.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.