A pregnancy that ends very early in the first trimester is called as chemical pregnancy.
Hence when you actually go for an ultrasound scan, the gestational sac or the embryo is not visualised; hence the name.
Most cases occur when the foetus dies immediately after fertilisation and before implantation in the lining of the uterus.
This condition is quite common. About 15-20% of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage. And most of the cases of miscarriage are during the first six weeks.
Therefore most cases of chemical-pregnancy remain undiagnosed because you may not even be aware about your pregnant status.
During this time, the typical symptoms of pregnancy are usually not seen and you may not yet have missed your period which may go undiagnosed.
But with the increased use of very specific and sensitive pregnancy tests, such cases are increasing presently.
The present generation of pregnancy tests can diagnose a pregnancy up to three days before the period is actually due, thus increasing the chances of diagnosis of chemical-pregnancy.
The three major causes of chemical-pregnancy include chromosomal abnormalities, uterine abnormalities and hormonal deficiency...
Chromosomal abnormalities are present at the time of conception, and these abnormalities usually result in an embryo which is not viable.
Hence these embryos are not implanted and this results in a chemical pregnancy.
This is believed to be nature's way of selecting the best possible embryos to survive inside the uterus.
The common abnormalities which cause chemical pregnancy include sub-mucous fibroids and deformities of the uterus like septate uterus.
During the first six weeks, when the placenta is yet to develop, the corpus luteum of the ovaries produce adequate progesterone to let the pregnancy continue.
However in women who have poor formation of the corpus luteum, a condition called the luteal phase defect, enough progesterone is not present in the body to maintain a pregnancy.
This often results in a chemical pregnancy.
This can progress to heavy bleeding with blood clots and quite severe cramping pains. With a later miscarriage, you may go through an early labour.
If you bleed or begin to have pains at any stage of pregnancy, contact your GP or midwife. You should also contact your local early pregnancy unit (though they may want a referral from your GP before they see you).
If you are more than six weeks pregnant, you may be referred for an ultrasound scan to see if your baby has a heartbeat. Sometimes the bleeding stops by itself and your pregnancy will carry on quite normally.
Some women find out that their baby has died only when they have a routine scan. If they have had no pain or bleeding, this can come as a terrible shock, especially if the scan shows that the baby died days or weeks before.
This is called a missed miscarriage, or sometimes a silent miscarriage.
Some women find out at a routine scan that they have a molar pregnancy, which means the pregnancy has not been successful and a baby will not develop.
This is not the same as a miscarriage. Surgery is needed to remove the molar pregnancy and careful follow up is required to ensure all the pregnancy has been removed.
But with mutual understanding between you and your partner, you should try to cope with the loss.
Blaming either of the partners for the loss will not bring out the solution. It is better to talk to your doctor about the problem and let him decide what should be the solution for this.
Normally, doctors suggest waiting for one menstrual cycle before you and your partner plan the pregnancy again.
Download a FREE Chapter of my new ebook "The Smart Parenting Guide" and discover an
easy-to-follow guide for raising a happy, positive, responsible and caring child.
Plus get 2 other FREE gifts... "10 Tips To Prevent or Subdue Temper Tantrums" & "12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children"
Didn't find what you were looking for? Use this search feature to find it.
Back to Top Page