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Is the "linea nigra" an early pregnancy symptom?

By November 18, 2015 - 5:30am
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I used to be on birth control for almost two years. I stopped taking the pill on Oct. 21 and had a withdrawal period on the Oct. 24th. Within that week, I've had unprotected sex.
When I spoke with my family planning nurse, she said to wait until the 14th of this month to get my period (which passed 4 days ago). I did not get my period yet, and I am expected to wait again until the 25th.
However, along with other possible pregnancy symptoms, I noticed a line running from my ribcage through my belly button, to my pubic bone. It is very faint, but it was enough for me to notice it after I took a shower last night (I make it a habit to check my body very often due to my family's medical history). So I decided to take a urine test this afternoon and it came out negative. This doesn't make sense to me because I've read that the line appears when a woman has high levels of hcg, which would have made the pregnancy test a strong positive (unless it was because it wasn't the first pee of the day). I've also read that it could appear due to high levels of estrogen, but I've been off the pill for a couple of weeks, so shouldn't my levels be decreasing?? Plus, I've never seen this line WHILE I was on the pill.

In addition, I've been experiencing a grinding feeling in my lower abdomen a week after the day I supposedly conceived. It has been ongoing til this day. Some days it would be very severe, but latelt it has calmed down a bit. Also, there are times where I feel like I'm seriously going to have my period (that rush that comes out as if you bled a little), but there 'd be no trace of blood at all! Just a lot of cervical mucous! (Sorry if it's TMI). Then I start cramping more and I start to cry because I have no idea what my body is doing to me. I've taken 4 urine tests and they are all BFNS. I will opt for a blood test after I meet with my family doctor next week, but my main concern is this line on my belly because this is very new to me and I'm kind of scared. This would be my first pregnancy if I am, so it cant come from anywhere else.
Thank you in advance.

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Hello aaautumnnn,

There is nothing to worry about. In fact, stressing out will actually cause a delay in the start of your period. When you visit your family physician, a blood test can be done. The blood test is more accurate than a urine test.

Levels of hcG can be detected in blood about 11 days following conception, and in urine about 12 to 14 days following conception.

Linea nigra is is the dark line that develops across your belly during pregnancy. It is possible that the line may have previously been there, however because it was so light in color in went unnoticed. Prior to line prior to pregnancy is light or pale line is called the linea alba . It runs from your navel to the pubic bone. It darkens during pregnancy. Although it can show earlier, this pregnancy line typically shows up around the 5th month of pregnancy.

The specific cause of the linea nigra is unknown, but it is believe to be related to the changing hormones or the imbalance of hormones as a result of your developing baby. One theory is that melanocyte-stimulating hormone created by the placenta is the main contributing factor. This hormone is also believe to cause the darkening around the nipples.

Please keep us updated once you have had your doctor's appointment.

November 18, 2015 - 9:26am
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you so much! I'll be sure to update you next week.

November 18, 2015 - 2:22pm
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