very pregnant women with negative HPTs- anyone know *HOW* or Why*? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been talking to a lot of people here and elsewhere, and it seems that there are actually quite a few very pregnant women, confirmed by ultrasound or *giving birth* later, who for some reason couldn't get a positive urine test even at three or four months, or later! Some of them even get positive blood tests but not on the urine test. Does anyone know why a urine test would come back false negative that far along? These are definitely not cases of testing too early, they are cases where the urine does not show HCG for some reason-- and I really wish I could know that reason! Since most of the women seem to have tried many tests, we can assume that it's not a matter of faulty or incorrectly done tests, either. Either some people can be pregnant without HCG, or some people it doesn't show up in their urine for some reason. But, why/how? Anyone got an inkling about this?
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#2 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to be clear, I do appear to be having this problem and yes, I am getting a blood test, hopefully this week. But whether my blood test is positive or not will not explain why some pregnant women can't pass a urine test, and that is what I want to know, so that's why I'm asking this question here.
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#3 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 02:03 PM
 
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Have you tried different brands of tests??
The binding agent used is different for the different tests, this is why some women get early positives with certain brands while others say their positive didn't show up with that brand but did with another.
It is impossible to be pregnant without hcg.
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#4 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 02:20 PM
 
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Hi there,
I read your other threads, and I worry that since you are also getting periods of normal duration and heaviness, you may really have something else medical going on. I know you are averse to most mainstream medicine, perhaps you could find a way to see a naturopath or midwife?
best wishes,
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#5 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I intend to get a blood test probably tomorrow, when there is a clinic with a reduced price. If it's negative then I guess I am crazy that somehow I made my body have signs and symptoms. I even have a soft cervix, among all the other signs. But, setting my own situation aside for a moment.... Okay, if it is impossible to be pregannt without HCG, then we are talking about women who aren't producing it in their urine. (I do think the word impossible is just a bit strong, because I know of one very rare situation where the woman delivered two healthy babies without ever getting HCG to show up on a blood test right up to delivery. If she was producing it, the doctor couldn't find it!) Women who have since proven that they were, in fact, three to four months or more, pregnant, at the time when they continued to get negative results on urine tests. More than one urine test, from more than one brand. I am trying to be really clear about this. These women are real, I have actually seen their first-person accounts and they are actually at least three months pregnant in all of the cases, usually four months or even more. But none of them explained why this happened. Some of them had stopped their period, others did not, but they all were baffled by their inability to get a positive urine test no matter how many they tried, only to discover by ultrasound or blood test that they are 3 or 4 months. Some of them are pretty angry and say things like, trust your body and your intuition, not your negative tests; and they are correct in that the pregnancy test makers seem to pretend these women don't exist when explaining false negatives. Pregnancy test makers like to say that false negatives are from mistakes or testing too early, but these women tested repeatedly and quite late into pregnancy and no oen seems able to tell them why they got false negatives. Surely someone out there must know why this happens!
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#6 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 04:04 PM
 
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Sorry to make things more confusing, but I didn't think a soft cervix was a sign of pg, just being fertile or in labor. I was recently checked to be sure that I wasn't having a m/c and the mw said "Good, your cervix isn't softening."
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#7 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 09:45 PM
 
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Keri,
Your cervix is softer when pregnant than it is when not pregnant. If you checked during your cycles, you'll notice that even at it's softest it didn't feel as "squishy" as it would when you're pregnant. Then it gets softer still if you are dialting and effacing for labor.

At least that is my understanding of it. I checked my CP during my cycles, and it got softer when I O'ed. But I recently checked my cervix because I thought I was having a lot of BH contractions, and it was wayyyyy softer than it was before, even when O'ing. I was really worried, so I asked my OB to check when I went in and was told that it was still long and firm. So, that was my experience anyway.

Back to the OP, I too have heard of this happening, and have no idea how or why it is possible. I'll ask my mom about it, she's a midwife. Maybe she'll have some insight.
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#8 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 10:34 PM
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HCG peaks at a certain point in your pregnancy and then begins to decrease. So testing via HPT late in pregnancy may very well result in a negative pregnancy test.

There are some women, not many, who don't shed hcg in their urine. I don't know why, but some women also can't use ovulation predictors for the same reason. Either their body reabsorbs the hormone, or there isn't much of it to shed or whatever.

I would be surprised that the woman you mention didn't have a + blood test. That sounds pretty unlikely, and more like a lab error than anything else. HCG is necessary for the growth of the baby, and you can't be pregnant without it being present.

winner.jpg Adina knit.gifmama to B hearts.gif 4/06  and E baby.gif  8/13/12 (on her due date!) homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpg

 

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#9 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Well, for the first 4 mo of my pg with ds, all my urine tests were negative .. and blood tests were "inconclusive" - they registered hcg, but in such small amounts it wasn't possible to tell if they resulted from the previous m/c, or if I was actually pg - the blood titers never rose over a count of 25 ..
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#10 of 16 Old 10-04-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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I'd like to know how the pg-but-neg-HPT thing works, too. I have been trying to find info about it lately and find NOTHING except HPT instructions that say you're doing it wrong or need to wait until after your period is due!

I have a friend who NEVER got a postiive urine test during her entire pregnancy with her son. No, she didn't wait too long to test - she started testing as soon as her period was late and kept testing off and on for months, never got a +++. She is now pregnant with her second child and got a + at 9 dpo. Wild.

Then there is me...I had a faint + around 11 dpo with Griffin, but this time I didn't get any line until nearly 4 weeks post ovulation - more than two weeks later than my first pregnancy. Why the difference?

And while we're wondering about this, why would you have different pregnancy symptoms each time around? So far this pregnancy is pretty different from my first. It's hard not to worry about that!

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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#11 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 07:41 AM
 
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Okay, I am one of those "rare" women then. I am preggers with #4 and with 3 m/c's that makes me preggers 7 times. Out of 7 pregnancies I did not test positive until I was 3-4 months with 4 of them (and that was testing with different brands once a week until a + was seen). The reason why I did get a early + on 3 of them was due to 2 were Molar Pregnancies so the HCG would have been higher than normal, and this pregnancy started out as twins but we lost one in the early weeks. I haven't gotten a blood test for pg so I would assume it is more sensitive and would certainly show up in blood when not in urine. But a pg women would have to produce HCG in higher amounts to sustain a pregnancy, so obviously it just doesn't show in my urine for some odd reason until later. Gotta go, but will come back with the full details of my story later if anyone is interested.
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#12 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 01:28 PM
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Angela - that is very interesting!!
And btw - you sig is way too long. Needs to be limited to two lines of text!

I wonder why some women shed the HCG faster in their urine - like being able to test positive 9 days after ovulation, and some women won't test positive until long after they have implanted.

winner.jpg Adina knit.gifmama to B hearts.gif 4/06  and E baby.gif  8/13/12 (on her due date!) homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpg

 

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#13 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 05:00 PM
 
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I just did a web search to see if I could find anything about this, and here is a little something:
Certain drugs such as diuretics and promethazine (an antihistamine) may also cause false-negative urine results.
There are reports of false positive serum hCG results due to several different compounds (not drugs) that may interfere with the test. These include certain types of antibodies that may be present in some individuals and fragments of the hCG molecule. Generally, if results are questionable, they may be confirmed by testing with a different method. http://www.labtestsonline.org/unders.../hcg/test.html
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#14 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to hear anyone's stories on this, however long they are.

I missed my blood test today because I got lost trying to find the clinic and I didn't arrive in time. At least I should know where it is now for next week. I was so nervous but at the same time I wan't sure if it was really worth it to spend the money, and here's why:

Last night I did a search online about this. Everything of relevance I found had to do with blood tests mostly. Anything about urine tests seemed to be the usual "explanations" that only apply to early testers. In passing through lists of questions, I also found a couple of different nurse-midwives and one or two doctors who said that some women do get their periods during pregnancy, some the first few months and some the entire time. So, apparently that's not as rare or improbable as is generally claimed either. Anyway, here's what I found on the internet about pregnant women with negative blood tests:

I found one woman who has posted a question somewhere asking why she never passed any blood or urine tests her first pregnancy. She took 12 urine tests and 5 blood tests her first pregnancy. The blood tests and 4 of the urines were at the hospital. You're not going to belive this, or maybe you are, but the doctor who answered the question basically just said the patient was probably not pregnant and it must be some other explanation that needs to be explored, completely ignoring the existing child that had come out of it! That was exasperating for me, so I can just imagine how the actual questioner felt. (In her second pregnancy, I think the woman got a positive urine test during the first month like people usually do.)

Then, I found an article about a woman with a molar pregnancy who somehow had HCG levels too high to show up on the test. It caused some kind of backlash or something.

I found another woman who refused to pay the lab for her test when the bill came and sent them a birth announcement instead! That was my clear favorite.

Two other women, on mesage board posts, were both menstruating each month, and had successful 3-4 months pregnant confirmations done by ultrasound when blood and urine tests failed to show pregnancy but doctors wanted to scan to explain their expanding abdomens and other pregnancy symptoms.

In addition, there was the woman I mentioned previously, who also had multiple late-false-negative urine and blood tests, and this covered two successful pregos and three miscarriages for her, all of which were apparently confimed either by ultrasound or by the obvious fact that she eventually gave birth.

No explanations found so far for any of this. Someone might suggest that the false negative blood tests were lab errors, but given that all the same women got false negative urine tests as well, it seems likely that another explanation exists and just hasn't been found yet.

I guess it makes sense to me that some people wouldn't shed HCG in their urine. But now I am wondering why HCG wouldn't show up on a blood test.

It seems clear that these people would need to produce HCG, especially since most of them could tell they were pregnant by other symptoms. HCG is the hormone responsible for the symptoms that make people suspect they are pregnant, isn't it? I mean, other than the obvious growing belly, it takes hormones to make all the other stuff happen. And, most of these people do have that stuff happen and that's basically the way they "know" in spite of their negative test results.

Interestingly, HCG is supposed to be the hormone that makes your period stop. I don't really know which hormones cause which other symptoms. But, a lot of these women have also said that they got their periods for months too.

Now I am wondering if I should even bother wasting 15 dollars on a blood test even. I feel like I should just wait another month or so and see. But, I am going to spend the 15 dollars, because I can't stand to just wait, of course. If it's negative then who knows what the heck is going on. I guess then I would have to see how much Planned Parenthood charges to check you out for fibroids and cancers and all that stuff with an ultrasound machine.
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#15 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.globalvines.com/mdsdiagnostics/Negatives.PDF

I found this PDF site with some really good reasons for false-negatives. Even the "pilot error" explanation is good for urine tests that appear to work fine (ie, you get a control line) yet give false negative. I mean, I don't know what the heck colloidal gold is, but I do know I was just dipping that urine stick nice and deep because I thought it would help, but apparently that is wrong. I assumed that if you get a control line then you did it right. Hmm. And I probably am not the only one who thought that dipping it deep is good. Perhaps our mysterious/miraculous false neg confirmed prego sisters did so as well.

As far as the blood tests, they explain the hook effect- HCG too high means a qualitative serum blood test will short out and tell you not pregnant or give a faint line. Those tests are made for early testing, and some people are too far out of range by the time they get the test run.

If you figure that most of the women who kept getting negative urine tests waited quite a while before they finally got blood tests... Most of the ones who said they got negative blood work late in the game ended up being three to four months along. Maybe their levels were too high and they were taking a qualitative test, not a quantitative. Also, I am curious if any of the women who get a hook-effect false-negative end up with twins and that's why their HCG was through the roof.

Another one:
http://www.hcglab.com/hCG%20Ref%20Se...ort%202001.htm

This site says that certain forms of HCG will not always show up reliably on pregnancy tests. Because of its shape or something. Use "find in page" to search for false negative and you can read it among the medical mumbo-jumbo talk there. They seem to be talking here about trophoblasts, which means molar prenancies, but maybe some women have funny-shaped HCG in a non-molar too.
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#16 of 16 Old 10-05-2004, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could be wrong, but I think the reason diuretics cause false-negatives on urine tests is just a question of urine that is too dilute or something similar to that. Like, the drug makes you pee too much for the HCG to build up in your urine, or something like that. So, in the case of diuretics, I am not sure it would continue to cause a false negative at a later time when the concentration would be much higher.
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