Chemical pregnancies are not spoken about often, but they should be. If you have been trying to conceive, losing a pregnancy early after receiving a positive pregnancy test can be heart breaking.
In this article, “7 Tips for Getting Pregnant After Chemical Pregnancy”, we discuss what a chemical pregnancy is, potential causes and risk factors, 7 tips for getting pregnant after having a chemical pregnancy and more.
In this article:
- What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
- Chemical Pregnancy Symptoms
- How Common Are Chemical Pregnancies?
- What Causes a Chemical Pregnancy?
- Chemical Pregnancy Risk Factors
- 7 Tips for Getting Pregnant After a Chemical Pregnancy
What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
A chemical pregnancy- otherwise known as a biochemical pregnancy- is a very early miscarriage, or pregnancy loss, before your fifth week of pregnancy.
A chemical pregnancy often occurs when the fertilized egg fails to successfully implant itself into the uterine lining and you have a period after the chemical pregnancy, but there are many other reasons- some of which are unknown- too.
Chemical pregnancies occur before the fourth or fifth week of pregnancy, which means a chemical pregnancy refers to an early pregnancy loss that occurs before the gestational sac is visible on an ultrasound scan.
Chemical Pregnancy Symptoms
What are the symptoms of a biochemical pregnancy? The truth is, unless you have taken a positive pregnancy test, you may not know that you have had a biochemical pregnancy if it happens shortly after a missed period.
Below are some potential symptoms:
- A period after chemical pregnancy with heavier flow
- Low hCG levels (receiving a negative pregnancy test a few weeks after a confirmed positive pregnancy test).
- Lack of, or reduction in, common pregnancy symptoms
- Positive pregnancy test result on an early pregnancy test
It is worth noting that light bleeding or spotting does not necessarily indicate a chemical pregnancy- it may also be a sign of implantation.
During implantation, the motion of the fertilised egg- or blastocyst- implanting into the uterine lining, can cause some of the tiny blood vessels in your uterine wall to break, causing a small amount of pink/brown spotting called implantation bleeding.
How Common Are Chemical Pregnancies?
Chemical pregnancies are believed to represent between 8% and 33% of all pregnancies, and between 18% and 22% of all IVF pregnancies (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2017), making them a fairly common occurance.
Most women who experience a chemical pregnancy go on to a healthy pregnancy.
What Causes a Chemical Pregnancy?
Approximately half of all miscarriages occur due to abnormal chromosomes, which are incompatible with life and result in miscarriage.
Other possible reasons for a miscarriage include:
- Thin or inadequate uterine lining
- Implantation outside of the uterus (also known as ectopic pregnancy)
- Abnormal hormonal levels
- Low BMI
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Infections, such as chlamydia
By working with your dietrician or doctor to maintain a healthy weight, reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, treating any infections and consulting your doctor if you believe you may have abnormal hormonal levels, you can increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Chemical Pregnancy Risk Factors
There are certain risk factors which can cause you to be more likely to experience a chemical pregnancy, these risk factors include:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Blood clotting disorders
- Using IVF (in vitro fertilisation) to get pregnant.
- Being over the age of 35 (Geriatric pregnancy)
7 Tips for Getting Pregnant After a Chemical Pregnancy
When you are trying to conceive, you may have many questions, especially if you have been trying for a while. Below are 7 tips for getting pregnancy after a chemical pregnancy:
1) Monitor Your Menstrual Cycle
Monitoring your menstrual cycle is one of the most important things that you can do, in order to aid in getting pregnant.
By monitoring your menstrual cycle, you are able to determine when your fertile window is, when ovualtion is likely to occur, when your menstrual period begins, and how long your menstrual cycle generally lasts. There are several methods you can use to monitor your menstrual cycle and ovulation:
Use an Ovulation Calculator
An ovulation calculator is a great tool for figuring out when your peak fertile days (the days you are most likely to get pregnant) are.
To calculate your peak fertile days, you just need to input the first day of your last period and the average length of your menstrual cycle. You can use our ovulation calculator and calendar.
Home Ovulation Predictor Kits
Ovulation test kits measure the amount of luteinizing hormone in your urine- the hormone that is released during ovulation.
The three days following a positive ovulation test result are the best time to have sexual intercourse to increase the odds of conception.
Basal Body Temperature Tracking
Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your lowest resting body temperature.
The basal body temperature method is a form of natural family planning, using to track when ovulation, implantation and your menstrual cycle begin.
By consistently measuring your basal body temperature at the same time every morning for at least two cycles, using a basal body thermometer, and charting it either on an app or paper, you can determine when ovulation is likely to occur, meaning you can plan sex accordingly.
You can find out more about basal body temperature tracking in our article, When Does BBT Drop If Not Pregnant?
Cervical Mucus Tracking
Tracking your cervical mucus can tell you a lot about your reproductive health, and whether or not you may be pregnant.
Before ovulation, your cervical mucus or vaginal discharge is usually white and thick. This kind of cervical mucus is hostile to sperm and makes conception very unlikely.
During ovulation, your cervical mucus becomes thin, clear and stretchy- with a consistency like raw egg whites.
This egg white discharge creates the perfect environment for the sperm and for conception to occur.
By noting down your changes in cervical mucus, you may be able to tell when ovulation, and your fertile window, occur.
2) Have Sex
Whilst it main seem obvious, having lots of sex during your fertile window can help to increase your chances of conception.
Your fertile window consists of the day that you ovulate, and the five days prior to ovulation.
This is because sperm can live for up to five days before ovulation happens, after intercourse.
3) Take Prenatal Vitamins
Whilst you are trying to conceive, you should take prenatal vitamins containing 400 micrograms of folic acid.
This is because folic acid can prevent spinal defects in the growing babies.
Research has shown that women who take a prenatal multivitamin whilst trying to get pregnant, get pregnant faster.
4) Aim for a Healthy Body Weight
Being under or overweight can reduce the odds of conceiving.
You have a greater chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby if you are a healthy weight. Obesity can also lower fertility in men.
5) Fix Your Diet
Eating healthy foods can help to prepare your body for pregnancy, by creating stores of critical nutrients.
You should reduce the amount of high mercury fish and white tuna that you should consume too, as this can impair fertility in both men and women.
6) Kick Drinking and Smoking to the Curb
Smoking can cause fertility issues in both men and women.
The chemicals, nicotine and carbon monoxide, which make up the cigarette smoke, can age your ovaries and reduce your supply of eggs.
If possible, you should also aim to stay away from second-hand smoke.
Alcohol should also be avoided to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
7) Take a Visit to the Doctor
If you experience multiple chemical pregnancies, you should consult your doctor to ensure that there is no underlying issue.
Experiencing multiple chemical pregnancies could be a sign of abnormal hormonal levels, or another issue.
Obstet Gynecol Sci (2017) Etiological evaluation of repeated biochemical pregnancy in infertile couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694731
Hi, I’m Louise- mum of one to a little boy called Mason.
I am the Digital Marketing and Admin Assistant for MyBump2Baby.
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