home pregnancy testI don't know how ready we are to hear this news, but here goes: Apparently doctors may be diagnosing miscarriages too early. As in, you call with symptoms and someone says, "Yup, it's a miscarriage, come on in and we'll expedite things for you." And they're wrong. The Daily Mail says up to 400 women in the UK may have lost their perfectly healthy babies (zygotes?) through mistaken diagnosis. And supposedly this is all because of super-sensitive home pregnancy tests.

Okay, I don't want to go into the what-ifs because there's nothing we can do about them. And because that's just a terrifying, heartbreaking prospect for too many women. Let's look forward -- how do you avoid getting mistakenly diagnosed with a miscarriage?

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So we all know pregnancy is tricky and mysterious, and our hormones can fluctuate wildly, and the range of what's "normal" is so wide it's enough to drive us batty. Well, apparently those home pregnancy tests can "say" that you're no longer pregnant even if you actually are pregnant. Maybe your hormones are just off that day. Or a leprechaun leaped on the stick right after you peed on it. Who knows? But the pregnancy test is not always right.

New guidelines that they're using in the UK -- and which maybe we should keep in mind -- is to not make a diagnosis until after 13 weeks. Any earlier than that is just too soon to be certain.

This is tricky, because most miscarriages occur during the first seven weeks. And I think we've all heard that if you miscarry, it can be dangerous not to expel everything. I think the best thing to do if you have a lot of bleeding is to skip the home pregnancy test and see your doctor. Ask for an ultrasound before you get any kinds of treatments. And hopefully everything is all right.

Have you ever used a home pregnancy test to see if you're still pregnant?

 

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