One day in mid-October 2013 I go see a Chinese doctor at a TCM hospital. I’ve had some menstrual problems I want to treat, so I go to the gynecological department. The doctor prescribes me a mix of herbs, ear acupuncture and moxibustion. After a week, I feel quite good about the treatment. There’s only one thing out of the normal – my period is one day overdue. I assume that this is because of the medicine the doctor prescribed me, which includes some herbs that are supposed to stop bleeding. When I see the doctor on that day, she orders me to get a pregnancy test. I’ve done an early pregnancy test at home and it showed negative, but the doctor makes a hand gesture that seems to say: “You can’t trust those tests.”
So off I go to the lab. They take my blood and urine, but part of the results won’t be due until the next day. The woman doing the urine tests looks at my results. “Why is this one positive”, she asks without me knowing which one exactly she is talking about. “Are you pregnant? You need to have another urine test.” And off I go to the bathroom again, and after that back to the lab, carrying a little cup of urine across the whole floor.
The woman puts a paper strip into the cup and when she takes it out she looks at it and waits. And waits. And waits. At last, it doesn’t seem to change, but the results do not seem to be very clear either. So she asks her other colleague. And another one. Together, they all decide that it’s not very clear. It shows a weak positive. My eyes fill with happy tears at the thought that I might be pregnant, but since the results aren’t clear, I hold back my feelings.
When I show the doctor my results, she congratulates me. After enquiring if I want to have a baby (or rather keep it, after all, abortions in China aren’t a rarity), she says we need to watch the progress. We still need to wait for the results of the blood test, but for the time being, she prescribes me hormones and Chinese herbs that are nourishing for the uterus*.
*I have since stopped taking hormones. I read up on all the side effects and the possibility of them causing cancer if the hormones aren’t bioidentical. Furthermore, the blood results showed that my hormone levels are normal. Concerning the herbs: Many Chinese herbs are contraindicated for pregnant women, but there are still some that are okay for pregnant woman to take. I’m not a physician and this should not be considered medical advice, so if you’re pregnant do consult a physician and do not take any kind of medicine if you haven’t consulted with your doctor first.
Have you ever taken a pregnancy test that didn’t show any clear results? How did you feel about it?