top of page

Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage, which usually occurs soon after implantation.

We must admit before we started our research we hadn't even heard of a chemical pregnancy, but did you know that more that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage with most of them being early miscarriages.

Chemical pregnancies, in a lot of cases, can happen before you even know you are pregnant. Because of this some women may not have had any pregnancy symptoms apart from a positive test. Some women may not even realise that they have experienced a chemical pregnancy as they might not have taken a test or have missed their period.

As pregnancy tests are becoming more sensitive, and it is now possible to detect pregnancy hormones up to 3 days before a period is due, it is thought this is why women are now detecting these early losses and we are hearing about chemical pregnancies more frequently.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary between women, and some women will experience some of the following symptoms but not necessarily all:

  • A positive pregnancy test than can quickly turn negative

  • Mild spotting a week before your period is due

  • Very mild abdominal cramping

  • Vaginal bleeding even after a positive test

  • Low HcG levels if your doctor takes a blood test

What causes a chemical pregnancy?

It is believed to be caused by chromosomal problems with the developing baby. A chromosome is a DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism, that contains instructions for your baby’s development.

Sometimes something can go wrong at the point when you get pregnant and the baby gets too many or not enough chromosomes. If this happens, the baby can’t develop properly.

What is the treatment?

Even if you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, the bleeding will be like a normal period, or may even be lighter than normal. You may also have stomach cramps.These miscarriages happen at such an early stage that they generally resolve naturally and you will recover quickly.

You may be able to try again for a baby straight away if you want to, but your doctor will usually recommend waiting until after your next period.

If you have any bleeding during your pregnancy it’s always very important to get it checked out.

No matter what stage your pregnancy was at, a loss can be very distressing. There is support out there for anyone that has been affected by a miscarriage.

The Miscarriage Association can provide help and advice.

They have a staffed pregnancy loss helpline on 01924 200799.

Alternatively visit their website for more information.

Research Sources


bottom of page