Pregnant or Something Else?

Patient

Q: For the past couple weeks, I have felt really weird. I wake up in the middle of the night with nausea, almost every night. On occasion, I have nausea during the day as well. I've had back pains, tender breasts, and just recently- diarrhea. I've also had stomach cramps (sometimes very intense), but no sign of a period. My period is not due until at least the 29th of August. I have very irregular cycles. I took a pregnancy test yesterday, but it came back negative. Could I be pregnant or are these symptoms of something else?

Symptoms:  Cramps before period, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, back pain, tender breasts
Doctor

A:   Pregnancy symptoms are quite non-specific and a lot of other illnesses such as viral illness, gastroenteritis etc mimic these symptoms.
A urine pregnancy test is based on the principle of detecting the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone secreted by the cytotrophoblastic cells of the growing baby. This hormone is detected in the blood as early as 8 - 9 days post ovulation and in the urine around the time of your expected periods. This is because the urine based tests will detect a pregnancy only after the hCG levels are atleast 100 mIU/ml.
It would be a good idea to take the urine test again if you have missed your periods to be sure of the results.

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