Jan 092013

“You are just getting false positives because you are testing so early.” – OB office to mother who was suffering from repeated early miscarriages.

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 January 9, 2013  OB, pregnancy loss  Add comments

  17 Responses to ““You Are Just Getting False Positives Because You Are Testing So Early.””

  1. The only time you can get a false positive because of testing too early is if you had a shot of HCG to trigger ovulation (as part of fertility treatments) and you are testing before your period is due. A positive test is a positive, and if it is followed very soon by a miscarriage, it means the embryo did not implant correctly. If this happens month after month, then it’s a sign that there is something going on that prevents the embryo from implanting properly. And guess what, it’s the doc’s job to take her head out of the sand and figure out what is causing it, and if she can’t then refer the mother to someone who can.

    OP, so sorry for your losses and I hope you can find a competent doctor who will listen and can help you.

  2. To a certain extent this can be partially true. Up to 75% of fertilized eggs do not implant and this is normal. However, unless all these tests are at 9 or 10 dpo with the ultrasensitive pregnancy tests, he is being completely ridiculous. And even if that is the case, if it is happening extremely often, it should still be looked at. But I have a feeling this is the same story as we’ve heard some of the past few days, and he was telling her to wait 2 or 3 WEEKS after her period was due. In which case he is a complete and total jackass.

    • Except that fertilized eggs don’t give positive pregnancy tests. Pregnancy tests look for hcg. Hcg isn’t produced until a fertilized egg has implanted.

  3. Gee…unless she has progesterone issues like I did, in which case, without medical supplementation of progesterone suppositories, she will never get anything more than a “false positive”. UGH!!! I had 8 losses before a new doctor finally listened to me and got me the help I needed in order to sustain a pregnancy!! Without it, I would have just miscarried every time!

  4. This makes me so angry and sad. I once went through a very early miscarriage, and to this day, no one believes me (except my Anatomy and Physiology teacher at the time, who used to be a reproductive physiologist, and I consider to be a good friend) because my cycles are so irregular. It was the most difficult thing I have ever gone through, especially with my husband out of town at the time.

    OP, I hope you find or have found a doctor willing to take you seriously and help you. And I am so, SO sorry for your losses.

  5. How early is ‘early’? Aren’t most tests sensitive about when you would normally expect your next period?
    That’s not ‘early’, that’s when you’re supposed to run the test, no?
    Lazy, stupid, book-educated but not life-educated doc.

    • Most are sensitive about 4 days early. Many times someone will get a + 4 or 5 days early and then get their period right on time. Generally called a chemical pregnancy, because the HCG is there (in minuscule amounts for a couple days), but the fertilized egg never implants, so a pregnancy is never actually established. There is no risks with it like a miscarriage of an established pregnancy. It’s just incredibly disappointing, especially since most who test so early are pretty excited about TTC.

      • Everything I have read says that HCG is not produced until the egg implants, and that it is not produced after fertilization alone. When a test detects a pregnancy “early,” that just means before the expected period, not prior to implantation. A “chemical pregnancy” is a miscarriage in that it occurs after the egg has implanted, but early enough that (if a pregnancy test hadn’t been done) it may be indistinguishable from the normal menstrual cycle. It may well be that the egg wasn’t viable, but when it is happening time after time, it should be looked at more closely.

        • http://www.hcglab.com/hCG%20levels.htm

          This explains it better than I can.

          I agree that if it happens repeatedly, it bears looking into. But happening once or twice, sad and disappointing as it is, doesn’t really require medical attention.

          I’m sure, though, that this was more than the second time for the OP, and that this doctor was being a complete jackass.

          • According to your link, although hcg is produced upon fertilization, it does not enter mom’s circulation or show up in mom’s urine until implantation has occurred. Any positive pregnancy test in a healthy woman not recieving fertility therapy indicates an implanted pregnancy. A miscarriage of a chemical pregnancy is indeed a miscarriage. Early miscarriage, happening on occasion, does not automatically warrant medical testing/treatment. It is normal, though certainly sad. But I have to say, as a woman who has experienced this twice, I bristle when I am told (as ai have been by medical staff) that it wasn’t really a baby, it was just a chemical pregnancy.

          • I’ve experienced it once that I know of. I usually don’t test until after I’ve missed my period, and I have a 16/17 day luteal phase, so it very well could have happened more often, I would have no idea. As I prefer it, easier on my emotional health.
            Any sort of implantation attempt will release HCG into the bloodstream. Even a pretty much totally failed implantation. I guess it depends on when you consider pregnancy to start. Some believe it starts at conception, I don’t believe pregnancy starts until implantation is complete. So that affects my understanding of it.
            To me, a chemical pregnancy is especially sad because it’s coming SO close to actually conceiving but just not. I just can’t wrap my head around it starting at conception. If you’re TTC, and your partner is producing healthy sperm, you’re ovulating, and having plenty of sex, you WILL fertilize an egg every month. Whether you conceive or not is all pretty much based on whether it implants (properly).

  6. This make about as much sense as the doc who told my ex the following: His 5 year old daughter had juvenile diabetes and per doctors orders they were testing her sugar 7 times a day. When she was having high numbers right before her afternoon snack his fix was “oh you just need to stop testing then and it will go away” Like just because we don’t see the numbers or positive test results does not mean they don’t exist.

    • That’s terrifying that a doc would say something like that…my nephew has juvenile diabetes, and doing what that doc said would literally kill him!

  7. What I don’t understand is why OBs are so intervention happy (whether truly needed or not and screw the risks) when it comes to pregnancy and birth, but they ignore and refuse to treat infertility. True, fertility treatments carry risks as well and it’s not a wise decision to jump in too quickly since the woman may still be able to get pregnant naturally. But most of the time they refuse to run even basic tests which carry minimal risk (such as blood tests or ultrasounds) and instead string the woman along telling her it has to be a certain magic number of miscarriages or a certain magic number of monthsyears TTC before they’ll even look into it, even when it’s clear there is an issue.

    They’ll always insist women’s bodies are broken as soon as they get pregnant and they can’t possibly produce a live baby without the doctor to save them from themselves, but when it comes to getting pregnant all of a sudden they are reluctant to interfere with the natural process.

    • But you nailed it — women’s bodies are broken, and pregnancy is inherently dangerous. According to that mindset, it’s no shock that these broken bodies fail at doing an incredibly dangerous thing, right? Why would you test and go to extraordinary efforts for something that’s doomed to fail in the first place and then put the woman and the baby in jeopardy because of her broken and defective body doing a dangerous thing?

      No, I don’t get it either. If they love running tests during pregnancy you’d think they’d also love running tests for infertility, but I think the sad fact is many doctors don’t know what tests to run, don’t know how to interpret the results of the tests, and don’t even really know what a normal cycle looks like. Because they don’t know, the lousy doctors tell themselves it’s unimportant and put off any situation where they’d have to deal with it (as opposed to the good doctors, who take not knowing as an opportunity to learn.)

      • Of course they don’t know what a normal menstrual cycle looks like anymore since they put everybody on The Treatment That Works For Everything And Never Has Any Side Effects Or Risks! (yeah, talking about the Pill). It’s pretty sad that a whole bunch of “specialists” in the female reproductive system are so clueless about how it works.

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