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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11301
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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Hi, 4 days before my period was due I started getting period

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4 days before my period was due I started getting period like pains but which seemed slightly different in that they went right up my back when usually its just in my lower back. I waited until the day my period was due to do a pregnancy test which was negative. Subsequent tests have all been negative as well and I am now 4 days late. I now have several period like pains which radiate up my back and top of my legs hurt as well. I have a brownish discharge (slight but enough to notice), sightly tender boobs, abdomen feels strange and full (similar to when I was pregnant).
Confused as tests still say negative. I am not usually late so this is very unusual for me. My gp told me to take another test in 3 weeks and then go back but I am in pain now and need some advice.
Thank you
Hello and welcome.
I am Dr. Norm, and I look forward to helping you today.
There are several possibilities as to the cause of your symptoms.
The most likely is that you didn't ovulate this month. Since ovulation is what brings on a period 2 weeks later, that's the reason your period is late. When a woman doesn't ovulate, her ovaries keep getting stimulated, and this can cause an ovarian cyst and also increased estrogen levels.
The pain might be from an ovarian cyst. The tender boobs and full abdomen may be from the increased estrogen levels. The brownish discharge may be just because you haven't had a period and the uterine lining has built up and wants to bleed.
However, another possibility is that you might have an ectopic pregnancy. When there is an ectopic, the hcg levels may be too low to show a positive pregnancy test. In an ectopic pregnancy, the period will be late, then there will be some abdominal pain and spotting.
The odds favor not ovulating, which is common at age 38. However, an ectopic can be serious and may need urgent treatment. It can be difficult to diagnose an ectopic at the early stages.
I would ask your gp to consider ectopic pregnancy and do a blood test for hcg. If the hcg is elevated at all, then ectopic is possible (could also be early miscarriage), and referral to an OB/GYN is indicated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response. I was always under the impression that with an ectopic pregnancy you get the pain on one side only where as this is all over (including into my rib cage)?

My gp will not do a blood test at all so if this is a possibility should I be going to A&E?

Usually the pain is on one side with an ectopic pregnancy. It's possible for the blood inside from the ectopic to spread to the other side, causing irritation and pain. This is less common, but possible.
If your gp won't do a blood test, I would be inclined to go to A&E. Most likely you don't have an ectopic, but it's possible, and we hate to miss the diagnosis.
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