When Should I Test Positive?

Cynthia Flynn's picture


Dear Midwife,
My period has been late for about 9 days now. Actually my period has been irregular ever since I got married (late November last year). But 9 days late is considered a record for me. Since this year, at most my period has been late is 5 days. I did take a pregnancy test (ClearBlue brand) on a day ago (in the morning) and it came out negative. Unsatisfied, I went to the doctor whom took a urine test (which looks rather 'cheap' compared to the one I'd used). It came out negative.

Can it be because my HCG level is low that the test came out negative? But I had read at Pregnancy.org website that ClearBlue can detect HCG level as low as 25 mIU. (Perhaps I took the US-based ClearBlue which reads only at 40mIU and above?

My period is usually accompanied by the really painful sensation of swollen breasts. I am not experiencing any breast tenderness at the moment. Also, another indication that I'm having a period is that my discharge will turn brown. This is also not present at the moment. I however noticed that my body temperature is not 'normal'. Like, during night times for past one week, I have problem sleeping due to the 'heaty' nature of my body.

The doctor advised some folic acids in the meantime to boost my fertility. If I am not having my period after a week, she asks me to come back for follow-up. My question is how soon can I know that I'm pregnant and which HPT works best under my conditions. Also, is it normal not to have one of the common symptoms of pregnancy that is breast tenderness?

Thanks for assuaging my worries.


Some women have no "symptoms" of pregnancy at all, even though they have a normal pregnancy. If you have gone as much as five days late (not sure what that means) in the past, I would start counting from there and say that you are four extra days late now. About 10% of women do not make enough hCG to show on a pregnancy test until 14 days after a missed period. You may be one of these, or you may just be missing a period for no reason (it happens once in a while). Consumer Reports evaluated pregnancy tests and said that First Response rated highest by their criteria.

If you miss a second period with a negative pregnancy test 14 days later, then you should see your gynecology provider.

-- Cynthia, CNM

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