Fertility and Chemical Pregnancy
When an egg is fertilized and implants to the uterine wall, the body starts to produce the pregnancy hormone hCG. Once this has happened, if the embryo is shed it’s called a chemical pregnancy, or a very early miscarriage.
Because a chemical pregnancy ends so early that there is nothing to see on an ultrasound, the only way of proving that the pregnancy occurred is by measuring the level of the chemical hCG in the blood. This is where the term chemical pregnancy comes from.
Because of the sensitivity of many home pregnancy tests on the market today, it now common for women to catch these chemical pregnancies. The truth is that early miscarriages are extremely common and many women will have no idea when it has happened to them. It is believed that 50 to 60 per cent of first time pregnancies end very early, without the knowledge of the woman.
What Chemical Pregnancy Means For Your Fertility
If you’ve experienced a chemical pregnancy, take heart, the good news is:
- A chemical pregnancy proves that you are capable of conception
- Fertility experts agree that a woman doesn’t have a problem with miscarriage until she has experienced three or more consecutive pregnancy losses. If that is the case, you should see your doctor, or a fertility expert, in order to have genetic testing and blood work done to try and find the cause of the problem.
- There is nothing to stop you from trying again to get pregnant, as soon as you feel ready. Your menstrual cycle should continue normally.
When using home pregnancy tests soon after a chemical pregnancy, keep in mind that your hCG levels may still be elevated, which could create a false reading. Waiting until a few days after a missed period to test is probably a good idea.
Cause of Chemical Pregnancy
First, understand that nothing you did was the cause of your pregnancy loss. Usually an early miscarriage is caused by a defect in the embryo, such as a blighted ovum. Other causes can be inadequate uterine lining, low hormone levels, immune problems, or fibroids and other uterine obstructions.
The good news is that the majority of women who miscarry go on to deliver healthy babies. A chemical pregnancy is not necessarily an indicator of infertility, or genetic problems.