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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Lower abdominal pain and bleeding

Dear Dr. Amy,

I am experiencing lower abdominal pain and intermittent bleeding. I did not have a positive pregnancy test but am trying to get pregnant. My periods do not normally feel this way and the pain seems worse when I am up and moving around. I still experience a dull ache in my abdomen constantly and the pain is more acute when I get up and down stairs and walk around. Also my bleeding started 4 days ago and has stopped and then started again. I am wondering if this is a miscarriage instead of a regular period. I am also being treated for PCOS.


Dear BH,

I'm not sure what is going on, but you should definitely see a doctor. My main concern is that you might have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. That's when the fertilized egg gets stuck in the fallopian tube and begins growing there instead of in the uterus. The classic signs of an ectopic pregnancy are lower abdominal (usually on one side), vaginal bleeding and a positive pregnancy test. It is possible that the pregnancy test you used is not sensitive enough to detect an ectopic pregnancy which usually has a lower than normal level of HCG (pregnancy hormone).



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