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I took a home pregnancy test because my period is two weeks late. I’ve had cramping, bloating, and other symptoms common during the early stages of pregnancy. I’ve taken three tests in the last week and a half, but they’ve all come back negative. Can a home pregnancy test be wrong?
Yes, the tests can be wrong. But given three tries in a week and a half, you’re probably not pregnant.
Every test claims to be accurate. Some claim to be more than 99% accurate. Unfortunately, individuals attempting to verify those claims have little recourse. You just have to take the manufacturers at their word. Many people don’t trust those accuracy claims, as evidenced by the large number of complaints these companies receive.
You can improve your odds in two ways:
* Follow the instructions. Plenty of women don’t read the label and receive false readings because they misuse the kit.
* Wait until at least a week after your period. The level of the pregnancy hormone in a woman’s blood increases rapidly with each day of pregnancy. By six days after the period due date, if you are pregnant, the hormone should be evident in your blood in large quantities. Obviously, you are already well past a week after your period due date. However, you didn’t mention exactly when you took those first tests. The longer you wait after your due date, the more accurate the test.
Problems aside, most of the tests are quite accurate, even if we can’t get too precise. Consider this:
Suppose a test is just 90% accurate, assuming that you followed the instructions and waited a week after your period was due to take the tests. The chance of two false negatives is 1%. The chance of three false negatives is one-tenth of 1%. And most tests are probably accurate more than 90% of the time if used as directed.
If you’re still concerned, see your doctor and take a blood test. Statistics can lie. But given the tests you’ve already taken, don’t get your hopes up.
My daughter is 9 years old. At the beginning of the school year in August she no longer fit into size 8 pants. In May she tried on those pants again, and they fit very loosely. My daughter began to take ballet classes this year, and I know she runs a mile every other day at school. Could the increase in activity have caused the weight loss? She eats all the time, mostly healthy stuff but the occasional burger and fries. Is this exercise normal? I already made an appointment with her doctor, but I wanted input. Is all this weight loss normal for a 9-year-old?
I’m afraid that your daughter’s level of exercise and weight loss are far from normal.
And that’s too bad. Because if all children stayed as active as your daughter, obesity would not be epidemic among our kids.
Any time you see substantial weight loss in short period, you must at least consider the possibility that some sort of ailment has caused it. Kudos for scheduling an appointment with the doctor. However, you shouldn’t waste too much effort worrying about the girl’s health, because your daughter is doing exactly what advocates of healthy living have been recommending for decades. She is:
* eating mostly nutritious foods.
* participating in activities that require physical activity.
* getting regular exercise. In particular, she engages in exercise suitable for a girl her age. You are never too young to run.
You asked if your daughter was normal. While understandable, the question is irrelevant. Instead, ask yourself if she is healthy, if she is happy, and if she feels good. If she answers those questions with a “yes,” then revel in the fact that while she may not be “normal” – whatever that means – she’s probably doing just fine.
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