What is Chemical Pregnancy?
A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage or pregnancy loss occurs shortly after implantation. It occurs normally before the fifth week of gestation. Chemical pregnancy occurs time, around the same as an expected menstrual period. Chemical pregnancy can be the reason of miscarriage for between 8% to 33% of pregnancies. Almost 18% to 22% of Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancies due to the chemical permanency. Chemical Pregnancy also known as biochemical pregnancy and almost account for 50% to 70& of all miscarriages. Research has found that, one in four pregnancies is lost even before a woman misses her period.
Chemical Pregnancy is not a false pregnancy or a false positive on a pregnancy test. The pregnancy that occurs before the fetus can be visibly detected on an ultrasound fall into the category of chemical permanency and the abnormalities in chromosomes are the main reason of biochemical pregnancy. Miscarriage can be devastating after one or two weeks of pregnancy.
Biochemical pregnancy take place before ultrasound detect a fetus. It is not too early for a pregnancy to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone the embryo creates after implantation. Pathologists can confirm a chemical pregnancy by testing your blood for it.
Symptoms of Chemical Permanency
Women may experience early miscarriage and some are even may not be aware that they are pregnant due to low pregnancy hormones levels (hCG) as compare to normal pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy can have no symptoms. Women can experience late period, Stomach cramping like in menstrual period, and vaginal bleeding probably with clots after positive permanency test.
It is important to note that, Vaginal Bleeding after positive permanency test, doesn’t mean that you are experiencing chemical pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding is very common during implantation, as embryo attaches to the uterus. There is a chance that Implantation process damage tiny blood vessels along the uterine lining, can cause blood release from vagina. Spotting often appears as a pinkish or brownish discharge. This is normal 10 to 14 days after conception. Chemical pregnancy usually happens before the symptoms of pregnancy like nausea and fatigue.
Highlights of symptoms of Chemical pregnancy are:
- Late period
- Vaginal Bleeding, sometimes with clots
- Stomach cramping as in Menstrual Period
- Low hCG level on a blood test
Normally, chemical pregnancy doesn’t harm the body of woman but it impacts on the emotions of the woman. It can cause emotionally distress, feeling of deep sadness and grief.
Diagnosis of Chemical Pregnancy
In Chemical pregnancy, blood test is the only way to confirm the pregnancy, because the gestational sac will not be large enough to be detected on a ultrasound test. Due to this reason, Chemical pregnancy refers to the biochemical means of diagnosis. In contrast of Chemical pregnancy, gestational sac is enough large to be visible in “Clinical Pregnancy” and can also diagnose by the fetal heartbeat of pregnant women.
In Clinical pregnancy, hCG levels would be present and rising, but will not be present or detect in Chemical pregnancy. So, it may not be necessary to do blood tests in the case of chemical pregnancy.
Chemical Pregnancy v/s Clinical Pregnancy
- The gestational Sac will be enough large to be detectable in ultrasound test in chemical pregnancy. While Clinical pregnancy can easily be detected from fetal heartbeat of women and gestational sac can also be visible in ultrasound test.
- Blood pregnancy tests will show no pregnancy hormones or falling levels in Chemical pregnancy while Blood tests will detect pregnancy hormones, confirming pregnancy in Clinical pregnancy.
In Vitro Fertilization
In Vito fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to help fertility or prevent genetic problems. In the conception of a child, IVF also assist and it contains one full cycle of about three weeks. In IVF, mature eggs are received from ovaries and fertilized by sperms in a lab. After that, fertilized egg (embryo) are transferred to uterus.
A chemical pregnancy can also happen in IVF procedures. IVF is an option if you can’t conceive pregnancy due to reasons below:
- Damage or blockage of fallopian tubes
- Ovulation problems
- Endometriosis (occurs when the uterine tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus)
- Uterine Fibroids
- Impaired sperm production
- A genetic disorder
- Unexplained fertility
- Other fertility issues
Within two weeks after IVF check, a blood test is usually given for pregnancy check. In case of successful implantation, blood test will be positive. But, sadly, chemical pregnancy can be happen shortly due to abnormalities with the embryo. A miscarriage after IVF can be very emotionally disturbed, but it is also a sign that you can get pregnant.
Causes of Chemical Pregnancy
There is no exact cause of chemical pregnancy while in many cases, they occur because the fertilized egg had some sort of chromosomal abnormality that made it nonviable from the start. In most cases, the miscarriage is due to the problems with the embryo, possibly caused by a low quality of sperm or egg.
Some causes of chemical pregnancy include:
- Abnormal Hormone levels
- Implantation outside the uterus
- Infection like chlamydia or syphilis
- Uterine abnormalities
The risk of a chemical pregnancy increase over the age of 35 and other certain medical problems like blood clotting and thyroid disorders.
Risk Factors of Clinical Pregnancy
There is no way to prevent chemical pregnancy and it has some known risk factors. Mostly women experience chemical pregnancy who are undergoing IVF. Other risk factors and untreated condition that may increase your chances of having a chemical pregnancy include:
- Blood Clotting Disorder
- Maternal Age over 35
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid Disorder
Treatment of Chemical Pregnancy
Chemical pregnancy do not require any treatment as it happen early enough and generally have little effect on women’s body. A chemical pregnancy doesn’t means you’re unable to conceive pregnancy and have a healthy delivery. If you experience more than one time chemical pregnancy, then you should consult to the doctor.
Mostly, doctors can run tests to diagnose possible underlying conditions. Hence, there is no special treatment for the chemical pregnancy but there are options to help you conceive and have a healthy delivery. If your doctor can treat the cause, this can reduce the risk of another chemical pregnancy.
Undiagnosed infection can be the cause of early miscarriage. Taking antibiotics can heal the infection and can enhance the chances of conceiving. It can improve your chances of healthy pregnancy.
Problems with your uterus can cause the chemical pregnancy. After surgical procedures to correct the issue, you can conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. You should also know that higher level of hCG hormones can also occur with an Ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is when an egg implants outside the uterus. Sine an ectopic pregnancy can imitate a chemical pregnancy.
Trying to get Pregnant again after a Chemical Pregnancy
Very early pregnancy losses don’t usually require medical intervention, but you can visit your practitioner if you think you’ve experienced one. They may be able to confirm a chemical pregnancy happened depending on how recently you experienced the bleeding.
Be sure to see your doctor if you’ve noticed that you tend to have an irregular period or a cycle that’s over 35 days long. Your doctor may want to rule out conditions that involve anovulation, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), that can make it harder for you to get pregnant. They may refer you to a fertility specialist if necessary.
It’s always a good idea to see your doctor if:
- You and your partner are under 35, have no known fertility issues and have been actively trying to conceive for the past 12 months
- You’re over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months
- You’re over the age of 38 and have been trying to get pregnant for three months
- You’re over the age of 40 or have a personal or family history of infertility
Going through one or two chemical pregnancies can be heartbreaking, but it’s not a cause for alarm. If a medical condition is contributing to your chemical pregnancies, most can be treated so you can go on to conceive a healthy baby. That means that as soon as you feel ready, you can start trying again.