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A chemical pregnancy is a very early pregnancy loss, usually before the fifth week. The egg is fertilised, and starts to implant in the uterus. Chemical pregnancies are very common and as they occur not long after conception and many couples may not realise they have had a chemical pregnancy. 

Here are answers to more common questions about chemical pregnancies. 

What are the symptoms of a chemical pregnancy?

If you’ve had a chemical pregnancy, you may have already had a positive pregnancy test, but later had your period. Some other symptoms of a chemical pregnancy are:

  • Heavier period bleeding
  • More menstrual cramping than usual

What can cause a chemical pregnancy?

There are many reasons for a chemical pregnancy. Some causes of a chemical pregnancy are:

  • genetic abnormalities in the embryo (this is a very common cause)
  • high blood sugar levels in women with diabetes 
  • thin uterine lining as the embryo is unable to implant

What to do after a chemical pregnancy?

After having your first chemical pregnancy, there’s no treatment. However, if you’ve experienced more than three, it’s best to seek help from a fertility specialist who will perform tests and advise what treatments may be available to reduce the chance of the chemical pregnancy happening again.

When to expect a period after chemical pregnancy

If you’ve had a chemical pregnancy, you’ll usually have your period 4 to 6 weeks after the loss of the early pregnancy. 

When to get pregnant after a chemical pregnancy

You can get pregnant as soon as two weeks after you’ve had a chemical pregnancy. However, if you’ve experienced more than three miscarriages, seek help from a fertility specialist

How to prevent a chemical pregnancy

Chemical pregnancies are very common, especially after IVF. Chemical pregnancies may be the way the uterus ensures that a healthy pregnancy implants and continues to develop into a baby.