A chemical pregnancy is one in which a pregnancy test shows positive result but the woman miscarries before anything can be seen in the uterus or the ultrasound. In a simple statement, a chemical pregnancy is a clinical term for a very early miscarriage. It is said so because the only evidence of a woman being pregnant is the chemical reaction that turned the test positive. In such a case, an egg is fertilized and implanted in the uterus, but then for some reason, it could not continue to grow. It can be really frightening and confusing to get your period again a week after your pregnancy test showed a positive result, but it is actually really common. The chemical pregnancy is believed to account for 50 – 75 percent of all miscarriages. Chemical pregnancies occur a week or two after implantation, unlike other miscarriages, which occur typically before the 20th week of gestation.
Signs And Symptoms:
In most cases, women do not have any symptoms of chemical pregnancy. Very often, the woman does not even know if she was pregnant. However, reports of mild abdominal cramping and spotting have been received by some women, usually a week before the period is due but as the pregnancy hormone levels are low, there are no signs of pregnancy like nausea or fatigue. Low hCG levels may be revealed by blood tests.
Causes Of Chemical Pregnancy:
There can be many possible reasons for a chemical pregnancy. These include inadequate uterus lining, luteal phase defect, low hormone levels, infection, or some other unknown reasons. However, most experts believe that the cause of chemical pregnancy is same as that of other miscarriages, i.e., abnormal (too many or not enough) chromosomes in the developing embryo. Abnormal chromosomes can be the result of factors like poor quality of the sperm or egg, abnormal cell division of the fetus, or genetic abnormalities passed down by either of the parents. Experts are of the opinion that half of all chemical pregnancies are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Other causes may include infections (such as syphilis, chlamydia, or toxoplasmosis), Systemic illness (like untreated thyroid disease), uterine abnormalities (acquired and congenital), implantation outside the uterus.
Prevention And Treatment:
Unfortunately, chemical pregnancies cannot be prevented. Also, there is no specific treatment for them. The good news is that there is no evidence that suggests any impact of the chemical pregnancy on any future pregnancy. Women who have experienced chemical pregnancies have had healthy pregnancy and delivery. However, for some women, the treatment may involve addressing the emotional impact of the miscarriage, especially those trying hard to conceive. A couple may seek a doctor’s advice for recurring chemical pregnancies for a treatable cause. Such a treatment may include progesterone, antibiotics (to cure infections), surgery for uterine abnormalities, baby aspirin. It is advised to wait for at least one regular menstrual cycle before you try to become pregnant again.