image001A chemical pregnancy can be described as an early miscarriage. For some people, it might be great news while for others not so much. A chemical pregnancy is said to have occurred when you test positive for pregnancy, but a few days later you get your period. When this happens, most people are left devastated and confused especially when they are looking forward to being pregnant.

A chemical pregnancy is simply a false pregnancy test. However, when you have a chemical pregnancy, the truth is you had actually conceived but you experienced a very early miscarriage.

What Exactly Does Chemical Pregnancy Mean?

Simply put, a chemical pregnancy is a clinical termed used to refer to a very early miscarriage. It takes place too early, even before it is possible for an ultrasound to detect a heartbeat (before the 5th week). A chemical pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg fails to attach to the uterine wall. These types of pregnancies are quite common and they occur in more than half of first time pregnancies. Often times, it goes unnoticed and passes as a late period. However, they can be detected with a variety of highly sensitive pregnancy test kits available today.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Pregnancy?

For some women, they hardly even realize that they are pregnant and thus may not know if a chemical pregnancy has occurred. This makes it hard to clearly determine the number of women affected by this condition. Women who are trying to get pregnant and are monitoring their cycle and ovulation are better placed to know when a chemical pregnancy occurs.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Light period
  • Late period
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Positive pregnancy test
  • Abdominal cramps
  • A decrease in HCG levels in the blood

Why Does Chemical Pregnancy Occur?

The causes of chemical pregnancies are many. Low hormone levels, inadequate lining of the uterus, infections and luteal phase defect are some of them. However, the most common assumption made is that chemical pregnancies occur due to chromosomal issues on the developing fetus. This happens as a result of poor egg or sperm quality, abnormal cell division in the fetus or genetic abnormalities from either of the partners.

How Is Chemical Pregnancy Diagnosed?

Chemical pregnancies can be diagnosed through blood tests. Your doctor monitors your HCG levels throughout the pregnancy to make sure that your pregnancy is safe. If there is sudden lowering in your HCG levels, you are likely to suffer a miscarriage. HCG tests are given to diagnose a chemical pregnancy. You are also likely to go through an ultrasound after the HCG tests. This ultrasound will pick up any signs of life in your womb. For a chemical pregnancy, no heartbeat can be detected and implantation cannot be visible.

How to Cope with Chemical Pregnancy

1. Physical Recovery Won’t Take too Long

As stated earlier, chemical pregnancies happen early and thus have very little effects on a woman’s body. Mostly, they are mistaken for late menstrual cycles. However, after a chemical pregnancy, bleeding is lighter than normal. This bleeding may also be characterized by cramps but the recovery is swift.

2. It’s Okay to Feel Grief

Most women are unaware that they have experienced a chemical birth. However, with the availability of highly sensitive pregnancy test kits, it is now possible to know when you experience a chemical birth. Finding out that you suffered a miscarriage can be devastating especially if you were looking forward to having a baby. If you are feel grief over the loss, you can seek help from support groups or your partner. You can also talk to family and close friends. This can go a long way in helping you to deal with the loss.

3. Get Treatment if Needed

Since a majority of chemical pregnancies go unnoticed, very few people actually undergo treatment. It is normal to lead a healthy life even without getting treatment for a chemical pregnancy and still have babies in the future. If you are at a risk of a chemical pregnancy, you can seek help from your doctor to monitor your HCG levels. If the levels do not decrease, chances are you will not suffer a miscarriage which can lead to health complication. Your doctor should keep a close eye on your development for a few months after the chemical pregnancy.

4. Prepare for a New Pregnancy

You can get pregnant immediately after a chemical pregnancy. There is no medical issue barring you from conceiving again. The fertility of a woman is not affected after a chemical pregnancy, and ovulation continues as normal. Also, the next cycle may be longer than the previous one.

There is really no way of preventing a chemical pregnancy. This is because the causes are beyond control. Most chemical pregnancies are caused by genetic issues on the embryo and thus can’t be prevented. However, minor lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing any possible miscarriages in the future. Healthy eating habits, giving up on smoking and drinking and quitting any recreational drugs can help in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Learn more about chemical pregnancies from women who have been through it in this video: