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What Is A Chemical Pregnancy?

A chemical pregnancy is simply a miscarriage that occurs very early on in a woman’s pregnancy. Often, this is because a woman was able to obtain a positive determination of pregnancy from a test before her period typically occurs. As a result, the miscarriage will occur at the time of a woman’s period before a heartbeat is seen on an ultrasound.

Part of the problem, when it comes to miscarriages that occur extremely early on, is the fact that there are many pregnancy tests on the market today that can detect pregnancy earlier than ever before. While this is good from the perspective of a potential mother-to-be, it also has one major disadvantage.

Obviously, the disadvantage is the crushing disappointment and sadness that can occur if an early miscarriage occurs. Of course, this means that early testing can detect chemical pregnancies and normal pregnancies alike. However, if a woman would simply wait for her period to occur, she would never know that she is pregnant in the first place, avoiding the emotional distress that ensues with a miscarriage diagnosis.

Unfortunately, this problem is extremely prevalent. In fact, 50 to 60 percent of all first pregnancies result in miscarriages extremely early in the pregnancy. Luckily, most occur without the woman ever knowing that she is pregnant. However, with the advent of early detection pregnancy tests, the problem is becoming increasingly known before the miscarriage occurs.

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. This is because your doctor can easily investigate the root cause of the issues that you’re experiencing which can help you find a solution to prevent it from happening again.

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.


Last modified: March 7, 2014


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.