A chemical pregnancy is the clinical term used for a very early miscarriage. In many cases, the positive pregnancy test was achieved before your period was due but a miscarriage occured before a sac or heartbeat was able to be seen on an ultrasound.
Chemical pregnancies are unfortunately very common. 50 to 60% of first pregnancies end in miscarriage very early in pregnancy. Many occur without the woman even knowing that she was pregnant, but this is not always the case.
What causes a chemical pregnancy?
Most chemical pregnancies are due to chromosomal problems in the developing fetus. Other possible causes are inadequate uterine lining, uterine abnormalities both congenital or acquired like fibroids, low hormone levels, luteal phase defect, possible immunological causes or certain infections.
How can I prevent chemical pregnancies?
Most chemical pregnancies can not be prevented. If you have recurring chemical pregnancies, your doctor should be able to investigate and help you formulate a treatment which is best for you. Potential treatments include vitamin B6 (at least 50mg a day), progesterone cream or supplementation, estrogen supplementation, immunological treatments, and baby asprin. Be sure to discuss potential testing and treatment with your doctor.
How should I feel about having a chemical pregnancy?
After having a chemical pregnancy many women are surprised by how sad they feel, even though they only knew of the pregnancy for a few days or a week. However, experiencing these feelings of deep grief is completely normal. While you may not experience the same physical symptoms of a later miscarriage, you are still mourning the loss of the dream of that baby. When you saw those lines on the pregnancy test you thought, “I’m pregnant!!” and began to connect with your baby, even if it was taken away from you so quickly. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed about your feelings. Allow yourself to experience and sort through your grief as you need to.
How long do I have to wait to try again after a chemical pregnancy?
Different doctors will tell you different things, but generally they advise that you wait one full cycle (until after your next, regular period) to try again. We didn’t wait after our first chemical pregnancy and I ended up getting pregnant again before my next period came, and that pregnancy was successful. HOWEVER, after my 2nd chemical pregnancy, we decided not to wait because of what happened the first time, and I ended up having my 3rd chemical pregnancy. So, I would recommend that you follow your doctor’s advice. I can’t tell you how often I beat myself up and wonder if I caused the 3rd loss by not waiting.
Will I be able to have a healthy pregnancy after a chemical pregnancy?
While there are no guarantees, the good news is that the vast majority of women go on to have healthy pregnancies following a chemical pregnancy. My first pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy, and then I immediately became pregnant again and gave birth to my son. My bigger troubles have begun while trying to have a second child, but I did go on to have one healthy child after my first chemical pregnancy.