Negative test, no period, all the signs. Now what?!

Patient

Q: I'm 29 with a history of irregularity concerning my periods. Since exercising, they've become regular but lately I've been having signs that make me think something is off. Soreness in my breasts and cramping is the usual for me. However, I'm getting random bouts of nausea, dizziness, heartburn, gas, severely irritable (even more so than usual), and even with the cramping (about 3 days now) not a single sign of my period! I've taken the tests and they all say negative. My question is, could I be pregnant still and due to my hormone imbalance, not register on a home pregnancy test? And yes, I'm about 10 days late.

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your query.
Stress & strain can often cause irregularity in the menstrual cycle pattern mainly because of hormonal changes. Since you say that your periods are irregular it is difficult to predict when your ovulation is taking place. βhCG is a pregnancy hormone which can be detected in both blood and urine. The home pregnancy kit helps to detect this hormone in urine.Therefore if the ovulation has taken place leading to a conception, the amount of βhCG secreted as a result of pregnancy could be low to be detected by the home pregnancy kit (these kits can only detect if the βhCG hormone level is more). The best option for you would be to opt for a blood βhCG test which is more sensitive and can detect low levels also, therefore will help to conclude if you are pregnant or not. This is because your symptoms show more of an early pregnancy.
Hope that answers your query.
Have a good day!

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