Chemical pregnancies, a.k.a biochemical pregnancies, happen to be quite common. A chemical pregnancy is an early pregnancy loss after an egg is fertilized but fails to fully implant the uterus. In fact, 50 to 70 percent of miscarriages are due to chemical pregnancies. Chemical pregnancies occur before procedures such as the ultrasound can detect a fetus; however, it isn’t too early for a pregnancy test to reveal hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This is known as a pregnancy hormone that the embryo forms after implantation.
The term “chemical pregnancy “directs towards positive urine or blood test results. This confirms the existence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. Thus, many pregnant women don’t even realize that they have undergone chemical pregnancy because the loss is that early. The loss of the baby comes so quickly that some women might not have taken a pregnancy test, had any classic symptoms of pregnancy, or even missed their monthly period. The only event that may have occurred is that these women experience a heavier late period than their usual cycle.
Therefore, let’s get to know more about chemical pregnancy, what are its symptoms, its causes, and in which ways can women prevent miscarriages or move on with the loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Chemical Pregnancy
As mentioned earlier in this article, chemical pregnancy often goes unnoticed. The reason why they go unobserved is that it occurs too soon after conception. Since the only actual symptom is a late period, most women fail to heed it. More signs and symptoms that direct a chemical pregnancy are; blood discharge with or without clots and painful menstrual cramps. At times, women get to know about a chemical pregnancy when they take a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test tends to show a faint positive sign but comes negative after a week or two.
Some home pregnancy tests are susceptible; some women realize they are pregnant before their expected monthly cycle. This is because the fertilized egg cells in the fetus produce enough of the pregnancy hormone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), to display a positive pregnancy test, yet the embryo stops developing and finishes. Though women expect a heavy monthly period, it is sometimes the same, just like every other of their monthly period. It is to be remembered that the loss of a chemical pregnancy usually manifests itself a week or two after the woman’s period is due.
Even though the pregnancy hormones are relatively active but low inactivity during a chemical pregnancy, the pregnant woman wouldn’t feel or experience some of the typical signs of a regular pregnancy term, such as nausea and fatigue. This is because chemical pregnancies don’t harm a woman’s body physically. Instead, they can cause emotional stress and damage. Such early losses consume one’s mental and psychological state and create issues such as stress, depression, sadness and grief.
Causes of Chemical Pregnancy
While the exact cause of chemical pregnancy may never be fully known, some factors contribute to its existence and have miscarriages as a result.
In most chemical pregnancy cases, the fertilized egg in the uterus has some chromosomal abnormality, which deems it unfit for the body in the very beginning. Once the body detects it, it gets rid of or terminates the pregnancy term soon after the egg has been successfully implanted.
Other causes may include:
- Uterine problems
- Abnormal hormone levels
- Implantation outside the uterus
- Low body mass index number
- Harmful infections such as chlamydia or syphilis
Women who are chain smokers and are alcohol addicted usually suffer a miscarriage due to uncontrolled consumption.
Certain conditions such as being over 35, having thyroid and an untreated clotting problem, and having an unchecked disease like diabetes can put one at more risk of a chemical pregnancy.
Diagnosis of Chemical Pregnancy
When it comes to a chemical pregnancy, the gestational sac won’t be large enough to be visible while conducting an ultrasound. Therefore the only way to confirm whether one will have a normal pregnancy or chemical pregnancy is through various blood tests that your doctor or a health care professional will recommend.
Compared to clinical pregnancy, there is a sign of fetal heartbeat visible when an ultrasound is held. Though blood tests are highly advised for a chemical pregnancy, they won’t find any hCG, and the levels will drop. However, in a clinical pregnancy, hCG levels will be rising and detectable on an ultrasound test.
Treatment Options for Chemical Pregnancy
Experiencing chemical pregnancy doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It also doesn’t mean that one won’t be able to conceive or carry a full-term pregnancy. Some treatment options are available to help such people have a normal pregnancy.
Nevertheless, if you have had more than one such pregnancy, your doctor might run some tests to discover any underlying issues. If the doctor can detect and treat any cause, that will reduce the chances of another chemical pregnancy. For example, if one suffers a miscarriage, they will be given medications (antibiotics) to treat it.
Women also have problems with the uterus that prevents them from carrying a baby. For issues with the uterus, they can go through the surgical procedure to fix the issue and have a normal pregnancy next time. The couples shouldn’t lose hope and try again after the treatment (if any) has been completed.
Chemical pregnancies are normal. Most of the miscarriages are due to the abnormality found in the chromosomes; there aren’t any exact ways listed in this article. Yet, you can adapt to changes that will eventually lower the chances of going through chemical pregnancy, which leads to a miscarriage.
Such preventive measures could be maintaining a healthy lifestyle, monitoring your food intake, eating clean before getting pregnant, and achieving a healthy weight. One can obtain all these by doing aerobics exercises daily, managing stress/anxiety levels, eating iron-rich foods, avoiding smoking and drinking a lot, and controlling intractable health problems such as thyroid and diabetes issues.
It is also crucial to note that experiencing a chemical pregnancy doesn’t mean one won’t have a normal pregnancy. Try to stick to the preventive measures as they will surely help, and prove fruitful in the long run. On the other hand, you should also consult your doctor, who will guide you and give better advice on how to take on chemical pregnancies.