Chemical Pregnancy, A Very Early Miscarriage

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1. What Is A Chemical Pregnancy?

Chemical pregnancies are sometimes known as very early miscarriages. They occur when the fertilized egg, for whatever reason, fails to implant itself into the uterine wall.  Chemical Pregnancies are actually very common, and, according to doctors, account for somewhere between 50 and 75% of all miscarriages.

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Some studies suggest that at least one in five pregnancies will end in an early miscarriage like a chemical pregnancy, so it is important to understand what these pregnancies are and why they occur.

2. The Truth About Chemical Pregnancy

Chemical pregnancies often occur shortly after implantation, when the fertilized egg should be implanting but for some reason does not. For this reason, if a woman is not actively trying to get pregnant, she might not even realize that the chemical pregnancy has occurred.

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She might simply think that she is getting her period, since a woman’s period is usually due around the same time that implantation would occur and therefore, a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage can sometimes be mistaken as a woman’s period.

 3. Symptoms of A Chemical Pregnancy

There are actually not usually any symptoms or signs associated with a chemical pregnancy. This is why it happen to many women without them even realizing it.

Most women, unless they were trying to get pregnant and happen to take a pregnancy test before the early miscarriage occurs, don’t ever even know that they were pregnant. Some women report feeling cramping or light spotting the week before their periods were due, but this is often just mistaken for PMS.

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Some women who take a pregnancy test before the early miscarriage will receive a positive result, only to find out later that the pregnancy was in fact a chemical pregnancy. This is one of the drawbacks to our very sensitive over the counter pregnancy tests that are on the market today.

 4. What To Do

If you think that you have experienced a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage, it is no doubt a very hard thing to deal with. However, it is not automatically a medical emergency, and you might not even need a trip to the emergency room.

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If you have heavy vaginal bleeding, it is probably a good idea to go to the ER, but aside from that, you might just want to put in a call to your family doctor. It is also important to keep in mind that doctors are not able to stop an early miscarriage (or any miscarriage) once it is already in progress. They can help to take care of your health and make sure that you are not in danger.

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It is also very important to give yourself time to grieve after an early miscarriage or any sort of miscarriage. You should be fine to try again when the time is right, but make sure to give yourself enough time to heal and recover. Keep in mind that the majority of women who suffer from miscarriage will go onto have a healthy pregnancy later in life.

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.