Chemical Pregnancy: What you need to know

50-70% of miscarriages are due to a chemical pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy occurs very early into pregnancy, not long after implantation. Whilst occurring early in pregnancy, it happens a week or two after a pregnancy test will show a positive result. In order to determine if you have experienced a chemical pregnancy, a doctor will need to do a blood test.

What Causes a Chemical Pregnancy?

Whilst it isn’t possible to pinpoint the exact cause of a chemical pregnancy, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Low sperm or egg quality
  • Hormone levels
  • Abnormalities in the uterus
  • Implantation outside of the uterus
  • STIs like syphilis or chlamydia

Your risk of having a chemical pregnancy is increased if you are over 35 or if you suffer from certain conditions, like thyroid problems.

Symptoms of Chemical Pregnancy

It is possible to suffer an early miscarriage without realising, or even knowing you were pregnant in the first place.

You may experience cramps and bleeding, but this feels similar to a period and can be confused.

Shortly after conception you can have some bleeding due to implantation, so it can be hard to determine the cause yourself.

Mental Impact of Early Miscarriage

Having a positive pregnancy test result followed by a miscarriage can be very distressing. If you have being trying to conceive for quite some time, it can be particularly upsetting. Chemical pregnancies can occur for women who have gone through IVF too.

  • Speak to a doctor, counselor or your partner for support if you are feeling depressed. There are also support groups you can attend.
  • Remember that whilst you have gone through a loss, this does mean you are able to conceive and future attempts may have success
  • Dont blame yourself as it is unlikely it is caused by anything you did

Treatment for a Chemical Pregnancy

If you suffer from a chemical pregnancy, that does not mean you are unable to have a healthy pregnancy.
If you have had multiple chemical pregnancies, a doctor can try to determine the cause and treat that, to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy.

A doctor can also run tests to determine if you have suffered an ectopic or chemical pregnancy, as they can be mistaken.

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