A chemical pregnancy is also known as biochemical pregnancy, defined as a very early miscarriage that happens before the 5th week.
From why it happens and how common it is, to the symptoms and how it could be prevented, here is everything you need to know about chemical pregnancies.
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After conception takes place following ovulation, the embryo implants in the womb as normal.
As these miscarriages are so early on in the pregnancy and occur before anything can be seen in the womb, the only evidence confirming the pregnancy is from the pregnancy test.
20-30% of all pregnancies experience some bleeding early on in pregnancy and fifty per cent of those won't end in a miscarriage.
The possibility of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25 per cent. Yet, chemical pregnancies are very common, resulting in 50-60 per cent of first pregnancies.
- Lighter or heavier bleeding with or without cramps
The type of bleeding you may experience completely depends, as it's different for everyone.
It could last for a couple of hours, or you could experience bleeding for up to a week.
Chemical pregnancies occur when the egg becomes fertilised but the implantation hasn't been completed.
Scientists believe that chemical pregnancies are caused by some form of chromosomal abnormality, which could be down to abnormalities in genes passed down by the father or the mother, poor quality of the egg or the sperm, or an abnormal cell division of the foetus.
Other causes can be:
- Infections including chlamydia or syphilis
- Implantation outside the uterus - ectopic pregnancy
- Uterine abnormalities
- Untreated thyroid disease
- Abnormality in hormone levels
- Thin uterine lining
Being over the age of 35 also increases the risk of a chemical pregnancy.
There are no treatments for chemical pregnancies, but there are ways in which your doctor can help you conceive.
If you've have had more than one chemical pregnancy, you can find out the reason behind it by having some tests.
If your doctor can find the problem and treat it, this can reduce the risk of having another.
If your early miscarriage was caused by an infection, doctors can prescribe some antibiotics to clear it up, which would improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
A chemical pregnancy doesn't mean that you won't ever be able to have a healthy pregnancy.
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