- A chemical pregnancy is an initial type of abortion that occurs shortly after conception.
- It happens when an egg and a sperm combine, but the combination does not develop into an embryo.
- Doctors say a chemical pregnancy is a good sign that you may be pregnant.
- Visit the Insider Health Reference Library for more tips.
Conception does not always lead to a creature. Sometimes pregnancy ends quickly on its own.
A chemical pregnancy does not produce an embryo
“What happens is a woman comes in and has one positive pregnancy test, and look at an ultrasound and don’t see an embryo, ”he says Michael Cackovic, MD, who practices maternal-fetal medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
A chemical pregnancy occurs when one of your eggs and a sperm combine, but the combination does not develop into an embryo. Technically, you’re wondering, which is why a pregnancy test could give a positive result.
But if no signs of embryos appear in one second ultrasound at a later date, then you probably experienced a chemical pregnancy, says Cackovic.
Symptoms of a chemical pregnancy
It is a condition that can easily go unnoticed. “Sometimes women don’t even know they’re pregnant,” says Cackovic, “and her period is.”just late. “
However, if you have had a chemical pregnancy, you will probably see that the symptoms disappear and you can blood experience even, he says Maura Quinlan, MD, an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg.
Chemical pregnancies are common
It’s unclear how often chemical pregnancies occur, but doctors say they’re common.
“In those days, pregnancy tests were done only when someone was missing two periods,” Quinlan says. “No one knew they had sports abortions.”
But because of the highly sensitive tests in use today, people are now more aware of early abortions, she adds.
Causes of a chemical pregnancy
Chemical pregnancies can happen for many reasons. The most common has to do with problems with chromosomes in your egg or in your partner’s sperm.
Normally during conception, you pass 23 chromosomes and your partner contributes 23 for a total of 46 chromosomes. But sometimes that number is too high or too low, which can lead to a chemical pregnancy.
Half of all abortions that occur in the first trimester – or 13 weeks of pregnancy – occur because an egg or sperm carries a abnormal number of chromosomes, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Yet you have no control over this abnormality. There are no activities – exercise, sex, fasting – that can cause a chemical pregnancy.
Cackovic says he tells his patients, “That glass of wine you had before you knew you were pregnant didn’t do this. It was a predetermined situation.”
And it shouldn’t discourage you too much because “it’s a good sign that a pregnancy has started,” Quinlan says. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant in the first place – say, if the man has one little sperm count – then you are unlikely to have a chemical pregnancy.
Therefore, a chemical pregnancy is a sign that you may be pregnant and should be pregnant try again if so choose.
Take away the Insider
A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that occurs when the egg and sperm combine without resulting in an embryo. You will probably only know that you have had a chemical pregnancy if you take a very sensitive pregnancy test.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, a chemical pregnancy could be a good sign that conception is possible – you just have to try again.