What Is A Chemical Pregnancy?




What is a Chemical Pregnancy?


A chemical pregnancy is a miscarriage that occurs very early on in a woman’s pregnancy.   Due to the advent of the super sensitive pregnancy tests, like First Response, which can detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your period is due,  women are able to find out that they are pregnant VERY early in the pregnancy.   The chemical pregnancy usually occurs close to the time the period was actually due.

It is thought that chemical pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg never fully implants in the uterus and chromosomal abnormality is most like the cause.


The Case for Using a Pregnancy Test AFTER Your Period is Due

While these super sensitive pregnancy tests are very popular among those who are actively trying to conceive, they do have a very sad downside.

If you use a pregnancy test, before your period is actually late, the pregnancy test can show a positive for a impending chemical pregnancy AND  a viable pregnancy.   If an early miscarriage does occur, you will have to deal with the crushing sadness that comes with your period arriving a little late, when you weren’t expecting it at all.  However, if you simply wait for your period to be late, the emotional stress could be avoided because you wouldn’t have known about the pregnancy in the first place.


Symptoms of a Chemical Pregnancy

The signs of a chemical pregnancy are very similar to your normal period.  Bleeding will occur, after you have gotten a positive pregnancy test and can be heavier than your normal period .  You may have more cramps and pass more clots than usual.


What is the Difference Between a Chemical Pregnancy and a Miscarriage?

While they are both types of miscarriage, the difference is based on when pregnancy is lost.

If the loss occurs very close to when the period was due,  with bleeding starting before the period is a week late, this would be classified as a “chemical pregnancy” or an “early miscarriage”.

Doctors will say a pregnancy loss at 6 weeks gestation or more is a miscarriage.  The embryo will have implanted in the uterus and it would have been possible to see the embryo with an ultrasound.


Common Reasons Why Chemical Pregnancies Occur


The majority of chemical pregnancies occur because there are chromosomal problems in the fetus as it develops. Of course, there are also other potential reasons why you might experience a chemical pregnancy including congenital or acquired abnormalities in the uterus, low hormonal levels, inadequate lining in the uterus, luteal phase defect, and certain infections.


Can Chemical Pregnancies be Prevented?


The majority of chemical pregnancies aren’t preventable. However, if you continue to experience chemical pregnancies over time, it is always a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to investigate the root cause of the issues that you’re experiencing and form a plan of action which will help you achieve a successful pregnancy.


There are several potential treatments to help lessen the likelihood of chemical pregnancies. Some of the most common solutions that your doctor might prescribe include vitamin B6 in doses of at least 50mg each day, baby aspirin, and even progesterone cream to help with hormonal levels. Of course, your treatment plan is highly dependent on your individual symptoms and should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor to determine the best option for your needs.


In the case that infection is the cause of your chemical pregnancies, you should also visit your doctor. Antibiotics can resolve any issues that you’re experiencing to also help lessen the likelihood that you will experience another chemical pregnancy.



  • Lindsey

    I’m currently going through a chemical pregnancy… My period was due this past Sat, however I had been spotting since the Wed before (over a week now). My period never came, I just kept spotting very light off and on- light pink and brown. I got 2 positive HPTs (digital) on Sat- day period was due. Since then I have still been spotting off and on daily. I went in to get my Hcg tested on Tuesday and the were LOW at 24. Got them retested today and they were still 24. OB told me it was most likely a “chemical pregnancy”/early miscarriage. Almost immediately after I got off the phone with my doc, I started bleeding (actual blood- like a period) and cramping. I hope I pass everything without needing the help of medication and/or a D & C. This is unlikely since I am only about 4 week along. I am sad and discouraged (of course) but honestly feel like my body is doing what it needs to do to take care of a non-viable pregnancy. I hope this helps others!

  • Lisa

    I’m actually pretty sure I had this last month. My period was late and I’m never late, then my period was super heavy and my cramps were unusually bad! I never tested, but I know my cycle and my body pretty well, and something was definitely”off” last month. If TTC my advice is just care for your body as of you are pregnant at all times and wait until you miss your period before testing. That way you won’t feel guilty if you get pregnant and there’s always that fear that something got messed up in the first month of not knowing. I take vitamins and just take care of myself the best I can. The rest is up to God.

  • Meridith

    I’ve had 3 miscarriages at 7-6-5 weeks I know other then those I’ve had a few chemical pregnancies. I’m 27 and still don’t have any children due to endometosis, and I will probably be getting a full hysterectomy because of the sever pain I have daily. Although it’s a very hard thing to go through there is always adoption. Keep praying Good will bless y’all.

    • Body Quencher

      Please look into the herb Vitex before you go through with your hysterectomy. There are plenty of women with your same diagnosis and was scheduled for surgery. They begin taking this herb and was able to heal their bodyl

    • Hello Meredith, if you haven’t had the hysterectomy yet; i urge you to believe God Almighty for a miracle of healing and restoration.
      With God ALL THINGS are possible, if only you BELIEVE He CAN DO it for you; as He has done for others.
      A simple sincere prayer of mercy, healing and restoration will do.
      However, if your faith isn’t strong enough to help you believe; you could visit a bible believing church/fellowship centre closest you, talk to the pastor/minister in charge; i’m sure they will agree with you in prayers.
      There is so much power in agreement prayers.
      Albeit, in the event of hysterectomy, God has blessed women with pregnancies and babies, who did not have wombs. Yes. So HE CAN do for you also.
      Wish you a testimony of birthing your own baby soonest.

    • Rebecca

      I agree with Gloria, God will do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask or think of. Be positive & let us know when the bundles of joy arrives!!


  • Jenny

    I too just went thru this , I was 6 almost 7 days late with a false positive with slight pregnancy symptoms , the pain in my stomach felt like knifes were jabbing , this would be my first chemical pregnancy , I had 1 of my ovarys removed 7 yrs ago it was twisted and had a cyst on it and my other one has a small. Cyst on it but not harmful my chances were 50/50 this was the closest I ever been to being pregnant

  • Jenni

    I too went thru a chemical pregnancy. I am 33yrs old. Never have been on birth control, nor on pregnant. Here is my experience-
    My AF arrival should have arrived 8/6, nothing. Three days later, 8/9, spotting and only at wiping (day 1), no stain on pad. Same thing till 8/14 (day 6) but with red blood, staining pad just top area (1pad;day). Took HPT and it was POS; the next 2 days as well. Then, 8/17 (day 9) NASTY, HORRIBLE cramping; heavier period blood, and some clots. Even saw what I think was the lining. 8/22 (14th day) bleeding had finally stopped. Took another HPT and it was NEG. Took another one on 8/24 and again NEG. Called my doctors and he advised everything is normal and very common.
    I am currently taking injections called Cuerpo Amarillo Fuerte (Progesterone) 50mg/2ml Injectable/shots Solution to help strengthen my uterus. I will keep trying in hopes to one day experience motherhood. Good luck to all!

    • Jenni

      Forgot to mentioned I have been trying to conceive for over 5+yrs now.

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Last modified: September 6, 2016