Chemical Pregnancy – Symptoms Of A Chemical Pregnancy

Chemical Pregnancy - Symptoms Of A Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy is another term to describe an early miscarriage that occurs within the first five weeks of pregnancy. Chemical pregnancies are quite common. Around half of all first pregnancies are thought to end in miscarriage, and a chemical pregnancy is thought to be the cause of most of these.

Why Is It Called A ‘Chemical Pregnancy’?

It is called a chemical pregnancy because it occurs at a time when only a chemical test could have picked up the pregnancy. An ultrasound would not have led to a pregnancy confirmation. This early in the pregnancy, only a biochemical test could have confirmed the pregnancy.

Causes Of Chemical Pregnancy

Chemical pregnancies can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Uterine abnormality
  • Inadequate lining of the uterus
  • Fetal chromosomal abnormality
  • Fibroids
  • Hormonal deficiency
  • Luteal phase defect – the uterus is not in the correct phase to allow implantation
  • Blighted ovum

Symptoms Of Chemical Pregnancy

Some women may not realise they are pregnant, and as such may not know when a chemical pregnancy occurs. For this reason, it is hard to know the exact number of women affected by this condition. If you are trying to conceive and are monitoring your ovulation and menstrual cycles, you are more likely to notice that a chemical pregnancy has occurred.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Late period
  • Light period
  • A positive pregnancy test
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Decreasing hCG levels in your blood
  • Abdominal cramps

Diagnosis And Treatment of Chemical Pregnancy

To diagnose chemical pregnancy, your doctor will test the hCG levels in your blood a number of times. If a decrease in hCG levels is found, this will confirm that you are not pregnant. An ultrasound scan may be performed to check for an implanted embryo. If this is not found, a chemical pregnancy will be assumed.

In most cases, the uterus will empty itself spontaneously after a chemical pregnancy. The bleeding experienced will be similar to your normal menstrual bleed, although may in some cases be heavier or last longer than normal.

Grief And Loss After Chemical Pregnancy

Many women may be unaware they have experienced a chemical pregnancy. However, the increased popularity of early pregnancy testing kits, means you are now more likely to be aware of the pregnancy. If you were excited to discover you were pregnant, then being diagnosed with a chemical pregnancy can be devastating. Although the pregnancy ended before implantation, that doesn’t make the loss or grief you may be experiencing any less real. Discuss your feelings with your partner, and with close friends or family. There are online and real life support groups that you can contact for help. Sometimes it helps to know you are not the only person experiencing loss or grief.

Getting Pregnant Again After Chemical Pregnancy

Most women who experience chemical pregnancies, go on to have healthy pregnancies. Chemical pregnancies do not cause any long term damage. You can start trying to get pregnant again immediately if you wish.

If you have suffered previous chemical pregnancies, you should speak to your healthcare provider. They may run tests to try and establish if there is a physical cause for repeated chemical pregnancies.

Last Updated: February 21, 2015

CONTRIBUTOR

BellyBelly.com.au


3 comments

  1. My last period started Nov. 19th. On Dec. 2nd I had pains in my left side and light bleeding thinking it was kidney stones or a uti I went to the er Dr. came back and told me I was pregnant. Today I went to my OB and they ran 3 tests and said they were all negative. They took blood and results will be back Monday. And my period has came on the 18-19 once the 22 for the past five months and it hasn’t come yet. Anyone have anything similar to this happen to them?

  2. Hi Jaime, my name is Sherri. I just recently went through what ur going through right now. I’m 28 yrs old. (Just had a birthday Jan 6th) ive been through so many pregnancy ups & down throughout my life. I have 3 children. 2 girls ages 7 yrs & 5 1/2 yrs & 1 boy who’s 2 yrs old. @ just 18 yrs old, I was told I could not bare children. So with this devastation, I decided 2 take myself off the birth control. Just 1 yr later I proved the odds wrong & @ just 19 yrs old. I became pregnant. I misscarried my 1st child @ 11 1/2 wks along. I was devastated. Just 1 yrs later after that, I became pregnant yet again just 1 month after my 20th birthday. That child is my 7 yr old daughter Melody. 8 months later the summer of 2009 when Mel was just 8 months old in Aug. I found out I was pregnant yet again. In April 2010 I gave birth 2 another little girl name Miley. Mel was just 17 months old @ the time. My girls began growing up being so close in age. Granted I was thankful & felt blessed 2 have 2 children so close in age let alone even being able 2 have them. Well just a yrs later Mel was 2 1/2 & Miley was 1 yr. I began having “baby fever.” I tried so hard 2 have a 3rd child. From April 2011-Dec 2012 I tried so hard. I almost wanted 2 give up. 4 almost 2 yrs I tried 2 conceive my 3rd child. It wasn’t until Jan 2013 (my 25th birthday) when I got with My son Seth’s father. Mel was 3 1/2 & Miley was 2 1/2. Just 1 month after beginning a relationship with Seth’s father I conceived Seth. It wasn’t until April that I found out I was pregnant again. Seth’s father & I got married May 2013. I was 9 wks pregnant. Seth was born 11-12-13. (The day b4 Mel’s 5th birthday). So. A yr went by. Its now christmas 2014. Seth is officially 13 months old @ this point. I had decided I wanted my 4th & last child. So Seth’s father who was also my husband @ the time had a talk & decided 2 try just 1 last time considering how fast we got pregnant with Seth. Almost a yr went by. Seth’s 2nd birthday came & went. (Nov 2015) and still no pregnancy. I cried & the emotional breakdowns I was having along with finding out my husband @ the time was cheating on me. It broke the marriage down, & we divorced. Dec came now remember that pregnancy I mentioned back when I was 19? Well the guy I was with @ that time had messaged me in dec. 2 months after my ex husband moved out. We began talking & we just clicked. He came over & we hit it right off. We r 2gether now & we basically picked right up where we left off in our last relationship. (That was 9 yrs ago mind u) he’s 24 yrs old & he has no children of his own mind u. We r now trying 2 conceive. Been trying since my last cycle in Dec. In dec I bled early. I was 5 days early. It was extremely heavy & only lasted 2 days. I took multiple pregnancy tests. About 6 of them. The 1st 4 were def neg. But the last 2 I took right b4 I bled they had an extremely faint double lines. I cried 4 I believed I was truly pregnant. Next thing I knew I got an almost unbearable pain in the lower left side of my stomach, then I had 2 pee so when I sat on the toilet I gushed a lot of blood. I knew right then & there. What I was experiencing was a chemical pregnancy not an actual pregnancy. I took nursing classing back in 2011 when my girls were still very young. Just getting out of the toddler stage. & from what I had remembered. Was that a chemical pregnancy is hard 2 detect & only occurs in the 1st 5-6 wks of pregnancy only long enough 2 get a very faint positive pregnancy test. But receiving a neg result a wk or 2 later if tested again. I automatically broke down crying. I broke the news 2 my bf who felt so helpless 4 me. He knows my desire 2 have 4 children is what I want. & was there 4 support & consoled me throughout my mourning stage. It is now cyle month # 2 my period is due in 15 days. My fertile wk is this wk which started the 20th. Last night being my peak fetile day 4 conception. I’m hoping & praying 4 a better positive outcome. Won’t know a def till probably 3 wks from 2day. Or 17 days from now the earliest. I hope in reading my story has helped u find some comfort. & hopefully if u do decide 2 try 4 a baby, that u do conceive. Best luck & wishes. From my children, Seth, Melody & Miley, my bf & myself. Stay positive. 🙂

  3. My husband and I have been ttc our 2nd child (it took 3 years for our first), and on Thursday I took a test that turned out positive!! I sent my husband to the gas station so we could confirm and we received 2 error tests, which I had never seen before. Then we had 2 negatives and 4 more question marks before 2 more negatives. That’s when I gave up. That first positive just killed me.Why did I even have to see that?

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