A chemical pregnancy is actually a very early miscarriage which takes place at a time when ultrasound scan could not show a gestational sac. The only evidence that indicates that the woman got pregnant is that she gets a positive pregnancy test which was done at a very early time.
The excitement of getting a positive pregnancy test usually ends up with getting a period shortly after or b y a negative test when the test is repeated.
A chemical pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized but it does not implant on the uterine wall. As a result of fertilization the pregnancy hormone beta HCG starts to be produced in the body. Measuring this hormone in the blood or urine is the first documentation of being pregnant and since a number of pregnancy tests available in the market today can detect this hormone at a very early stage the woman thinks she is pregnant but since the implantation fails this very early miscarriage occurs at a time just around the expected time of periods and without the gestational sac being formed.
There are a number of possible cause and is very common and usually goes unidentified since not all woman take a pregnancy test that early.
- Inadequate uterine lining.
- Low hormone levels
- Luteal phase defect
- Chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized ovum
- Unknown reasons
- It varies among different woman most having almost no symptoms at all.
- A bleed that resembles a normal period
- Some cramping
- Spotting before the actual bleeding started
Management: No specific management is needed except for counselling and reassurance. Patients may be advised to get some workup done to prevent this occurring in future.