When Does A Chemical Pregnancy Occur

Chemical Pregnancy: When Does It Occur & How Long Does It Last?

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. This journey of a women tuning into a mother completes the entire cycle of womanhood. This journey begins way before a woman even conceives. The very first thought and plan to have a baby starts the journey of motherhood. But sometimes, the journey of motherhood is not very smooth. There are indeed a number of bumps on the road. One such bump which creates a huge setback on the journey of motherhood is Chemical Pregnancy. While you start preparing to conceive your baby, you should be well aware of what is a chemical pregnancy and when does a chemical pregnancy occur?

Chemical Pregnancy Definition

Chemical Pregnancy is the situation where the pregnancy gets terminated untimely and very early in the pregnancy stage. Such miscarriages usually happen before the fifth week of the gestation period. At such a stage, the fetus is not even detected using an ultrasound. According to statistics, almost 75 percent of pregnancies are affected by chemical pregnancies which end in miscarriages.

When Does a Chemical Pregnancy Occur?

A chemical pregnancy is believed to occur usually when a pregnancy is lost almost shortly after the implantation of the fetus in the female womb. This results in bleeding usually around the time when the woman has her usual menstrual cycle. This way the woman suffering from chemical pregnancy might not even realize that she might have conceived at a time. Such miscarriages often occur within the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy.

How Does a Chemical Pregnancy Happen?

Usually whenever a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus of a woman the cells which create the placenta which links the fertilized egg to the uterus of the woman start building up. These cells start producing a chemical called hCG, which is also known as the Pregnancy Hormone. At this stage of the pregnancy, though the ultrasound would not be effective in detecting a gestational sac, the heartbeat of the fetus, the fetal development or even the placenta, but the pregnancy hormone of hCG is present in high levels. This high levels of hCG help in detecting pregnancy using the urine or blood test.

Some of the commonly observed causes of chemical pregnancy include

  • Chromosomal abnormality present in the baby from the time the baby is conceived which prevents its normal development and growth
  • Uterine abnormality in the woman which makes implantation difficult
  • Any hormonal deficiency in the woman which affects the woman’s capability of maintaining the pregnancy

However, in case of chemical pregnancy situations, the fertilized egg being implanted in the woman’s uterus doesn’t complete the implantation stage and thus miscarriage happens. This result is bleeding almost near the time the woman was expected to have her menstrual cycle or within a week from the date. However, due to chemical pregnancy situation, the woman’s body has high levels of hCG.

Incidences of chemical pregnancy also occur in case of IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) just like in normal conceptions. A situation like this occurs due to positive beta hCG pregnancy test which usually cannot proceed towards an ultrasound confirmed pregnancy. However, this concept of chemical pregnancy is common in both normal conception and IVF.

Since Chemical Pregnancy occurs early in the gestational journey of pregnancy, most women would not be experiencing the common pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and nausea.

How Long Does a Chemical Pregnancy Last?

Usually, chemical pregnancy results in miscarriage or loss of fetal between the second and the fourth week, i.e., before reaching the fifth week of the gestational period, of implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus of the woman. Just like any other case of miscarriage, even in chemical pregnancy, the woman might experience some level of cramps and bleeding.

Being aware of when does a situation like chemical pregnancy occurs can help the woman limit such incidents. And take forward the journey of pregnancy by taking necessary precautions and preventions in consultation with a good gynecologist.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sameer Kumar (MBBS, MS, FMAS, DMAS)Obstetrician & Gynecologist