chemical PregnancyA chemical pregnancy is a term used to describe an early miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies indicate while fertilization occurred, something went wrong before the embryo could thrive, and the body rejected the resulting fetus.

Confirmation of the chemical pregnancy is achieved by elevated levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone levels in the woman’s blood. The hCG is detected by the test; however, the pregnancy is not confirmed by either heartbeat or ultrasound before the miscarriage occurs.

In the past, chemical pregnancies were often never discovered, as they occurred so early in the pregnancy that a woman just assumed she was having her period. However, as technology has improved and home pregnancy test have become more sensitive, the ability to detect a pregnancy even before a woman’s period is due has become a reality. While this can be great for the anxious would-be mother who wants to hear the good news as soon as is possible, it can also bring great heartache.

The fact is, chemical pregnancies are not uncommon. Some experts indicate that up to 60 percent of first pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, because many women aren’t aware they are pregnant in the first place, they never know. The woman trying to bear out the two-week is typically the one who discovers her pregnancy and then shortly thereafter suffers the grief of its loss.

In most cases, we don’t know what went wrong with the pregnancy. We do know that there are chromosomal defects in the majority of the cases that occurred in the fetus during development that did not allow it to thrive. It could also be because of a congenital condition of the uterus, hormone level imbalances or lack of sufficient endometrium lining (the lining of the uterus where the embryo implants after fertilization) in the uterus. Also, a luteal phase defect or infection could cause the miscarriage. There is nothing the mother could have done to prevent the chemical pregnancy.

When a chemical pregnancy occurs, it’s a good idea to wait a cycle or two to let your body regulate itself before trying to conceive again. Furthermore, if you have two or more chemical pregnancies occur, you should see your doctor to determine if there is a treatable cause for the miscarriages. Many times, antibiotics can clear up an infection, or fertility drugs can help regulate hormone imbalances.

Chemical pregnancies are common, if sad, early miscarriages that end many pregnancies. Most women who suffer from a chemical pregnancy go on to have successful pregnancies. While they are not preventable, there are some conditions that cause them that can be treated with simple medications or treatments. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience two or more chemical pregnancies while trying to conceive. Working together, you might be able to overcome the problem and make your dreams of a family a reality.


Weiss, Robin Elise, LCCE. “What is a chemical pregnancy?” Web. 2 August 2015.

“What is a chemical pregnancy?” Web. 2 August 2015.