What is a chemical pregnancy?

Biochemical pregnancy: definition

the biochemical pregnancy – sometimes incorrectly “ Chemical Pregnancy – denotes a miscarriage ultra early before there is even the slightest sign of pregnancy. “The term was invented in in vitro fertilization (IVF) to qualify the onset of a pregnancy diagnosed during the first blood test done 14 days after the puncture to find out if the woman is pregnant or not, explains the Pre. Joelle Belaish-Allart. If the dosage of Beta HCG hormone is positive, ie greater than 10 mIU/ml, it means that a is indeed present early pregnancy – with chemical proof of it – but it doesn’t exist yet no clinical signs. If the pregnancy continues to the stage where we see a picture of an egg in the uterus – generally around six and a half weeks of amenorrhea, ie six and a half weeks without a period – we speak of ” pregnancy with ultrasound “. Finally, when the pregnancy reaches twelve weeks of amenorrhea, we speak of ” ongoing pregnancy after the first trimester ultrasound.

the biochemical pregnancy means there was one early pregnancy but this one is not scalable (very early arrest of embryonic development). It occurs in more or less 20% of cycles in fertile couples trying to conceive (source 1).

Except in the context of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in which a blood sample is taken 14 days after the puncture to check for early pregnancy while a “natural” designpass this spontaneous miscarriage very often overlooked. “The woman notices this when she carries out an ultra-early test, i.e. before the calculated date of her period and it is positive,” explains Dr. Odile Bagot. Then, when the rules come, she will know that while there was an onset of pregnancy, it was not viable.”

Comments endorsed by the President of the National College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (CNGOF): “Theoretically, a biochemical pregnancy can also be observed out of context assisted reproduction When a woman has a delayed period, she takes a beta hCG hormone test and it is positive, he says. In this case there is evidence of implantation, of early pregnancy, but it does not develop, it is an ultra early miscarriage.”

Why is the test positive?

When the egg is fertilized by a sperm, the two cells fuse to form the first cell of the future baby. “This is then divided to make two cells, then four, then sixteen, and so on,” recalls Dr. Odile Bagot. Then the egg implants itself in the uterus: that is implantation”. Then the production of beta-HCG – the famous pregnancy hormone – begins and can be detected in the blood. Hence the pregnancy testcan be positive. In the event of a standstill in embryonic development, the level of beta-HCG collapses, which indicates a very early spontaneous miscarriage.

What Are the Symptoms of a Biochemical Pregnancy?

As already mentioned, the biochemical pregnancy spend most of the time unnoticed and is often confused with the menstruation.

In general, a pregnancy ends too early for early symptoms such as nausea to occur, confirms Dr. Odile Bagot. This will also not be visible in the ultrasound as the embryo is still too small.

On the other hand, if the patient undergoes PMA treatment, the biochemical pregnancy results in:

  • sometimes a late time : the implantation of the embryo and then the arrest of its development leads to a prolongation of the menstrual cycle by a few days;
  • a positive pregnancy test : in case of biochemical pregnancy, the pregnancy test is positive, but a few days later the arrival of the rules follows;
  • a positive but low beta hCG hormone level : Likewise, if the patient takes a pregnancy test through blood test, the presence of the beta-HCG hormone – also called the pregnancy hormone – will be detected, but it will be weak. Usually, this rate increases steadily and gradually during the first few weeks of pregnancy, doubling every 48 hours. Also, when beta HCG is low or falling, it usually means there has been one embryo implantation in the uterus, but its development has stopped and the pregnancy is not progressing.

What are the causes of this very early miscarriage?

If the causes of biochemical pregnancy – that is, from this very early mowing – are not known, it seems that certain factors such as e.g agea hormonal problem or a chromosomal abnormality come into the game “In general, these ultra-early spontaneous abortions (FCS) are associated with a chromosomal abnormality, confirms the Pre. Joelle Belaish-Allart. If they recur, it may be necessary to consult an infertility specialist. These ultra-early FCS are all the more common when the woman is old.”

Biochemical pregnancy and fertility

In general, biochemical pregnancy does not affect fertility. “This pregnancy, which ends very early, is one physiological phenomenon‘ reassures Dr. Odile Bagot. You should know that by the age of 30, out of 10 pregnancies that begin between the ages of 6 and 7 end spontaneously without the woman even realizing she is pregnant. By the age of 40, an estimated 9 out of 10 pregnancies have ended. That is why fertility decreases over time.”

Biochemical pregnancy and IVF

In the context of ART, a biochemical pregnancy does not affect the uterine lining and it is possible to start a new treatment quickly. While this ultra-early mowing can be uncomfortable for couples, it is a rather positive sign of future pregnancy. This indeed means that implantation is possible!

What to do in case of a biochemical pregnancy?

Because a biochemical pregnancy doesn’t cause any symptoms, most women don’t know they’ve had one. ” It is a natural process“Recalls Dr. Odile Bagot. many pregnancies stop very early because there is a chromosomal abnormality and the embryo is not viable. This does not affect future fertility. On the contrary, it’s pretty good news as it means the couple is fertile and the woman has every chance of conceiving afterwards. In short: no worries! “. And the gynecologist concludes: “You have to be patient and refrain from taking a pregnancy test.before you notice any real delay in menstruation”.

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