When an embryo stops developing before the fifth week of gestation, typically around a woman’s expected menstrual cycle, this is called a chemical pregnancy or kjemisk graviditet. About 8–33% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, while 18–22% of pregnancies conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) are conceived chemically.
A pregnancy that begins before the fetus can be visibly spotted on ultrasound is not a false pregnancy or a false positive on a pregnancy test.
2 Chromosome abnormalities in the embryo are a common cause of chemical pregnancies.
Diagnosing and Treating Chemically Induced Pregnancy
Since the only genuine symptom of a chemical pregnancy is a late period, most persons who have had one are unaware that they conceived.
Early pregnancy tests might reveal a chemical pregnancy when they produce a faint positive result followed by a negative result a week or two later.
Many women today discover they expect before their period is due because home pregnancy tests are so accurate.
When a fertilized egg has a chemical pregnancy, the growing embryo stops developing after releasing enough hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to register as positive on a pregnancy test.
Although you may anticipate greater menstrual flow during a chemical pregnancy, you may be surprised that it is comparable to a regular period.
Chemical pregnancy symptoms may also include:
- Having a low hCG blood level
- Period cramps that are milder or more severe than typical
- Usually, light spotting begins one week before the start of a period (this is different than implantation bleeding or spotting that occurs in early pregnancy)
In a chemical pregnancy, pregnancy hormones are present, but at low levels, so you won’t often experience the other usual symptoms of early pregnancy, including exhaustion or nausea.
A chemical pregnancy may not physically hurt the mother, but it may still be emotionally taxing. No matter how early, the loss of a pregnancy can cause profound regret and grief.
Diagnosing Pregnancy Chemically
The gestational sac is too small to be seen on an ultrasound during a chemical pregnancy, thus, the only method to confirm the pregnancy is through blood testing.
Chemical pregnancy is a reference to biochemical methods of diagnosis.
On the other hand, a “clinical pregnancy” is one in which the presence of fetal heartbeat or ultrasound evidence is confirmed.
In the case of a chemical pregnancy, a blood pregnancy test may not be necessary, and if performed, it may not detect hCG or find that levels are decreasing. The presence and elevation of hCG are indicative of clinical pregnancy.
Analytical Methods for the Study of Chemically Induced Pregnancy
In many situations, a chemical pregnancy occurs because the fertilized egg has a chromosomal defect that rendered it nonviable. The specific reason of a chemical pregnancy is rarely ever known. The development of the fertilized egg usually ceases shortly after implantation. It’s also possible that the egg won’t implant.
Possible other factors are:
- Hormone imbalance
- Percutaneous implantation infections (chlamydia or syphilis)
- Anomalous uterine development
There is no way to avoid a chemical pregnancy, but there are ways to lessen your chances of having one. Women who undergo in vitro fertilization are a standard population for detecting chemical pregnancies.
Some IVF patients and their partners may feel compelled to take a pregnancy test more frequently and sooner than those who conceive naturally.
Some other factors and medical issues that go untreated can also raise the risk of a chemical pregnancy, such as:
- Deficiency in the ability of the blood to clot
- Age of mother 35 or higher and diabetes
- Caused by polycystic ovaries (PCOS)
- Disorders of the thyroid