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.

  • 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.


Last modified: June 2, 2014

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