Signs & Symptoms of a Chemical Pregnancy

By Alicia Vaillancourt-Flotte
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A pregnancy is called "chemical" when a woman determines she's pregnant by detection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin through a pregnancy test--either via urine or blood serum--however, the pregnancy fails to develop. This is considered an early miscarriage, typically happening prior to even missing a period or five to six weeks gestation.


A woman who is experiencing a chemical pregnancy will begin menstruating soon after the positive pregnancy test, sometimes even right on time with her natural cycle. Prior to the advancement of home pregnancy tests, many woman weren't even aware they were pregnant, and it is projected that up to 70 per cent of conceptions end as chemical pregnancies, with the onset of delayed or even on-time menstruation.

Decreasing hCG

The hCG hormone will begin to decrease rather than increase. A definitive way to determine decreasing hCG is by performing quantitative hCG tests at least 48 hours apart. The hCG in a healthy pregnancy typically doubles every 48 hours, in a chemical pregnancy the hormone will decreases rather than double.

Varying Pregancy Test Results

Innovative technology allows for woman to detect hCG in her urine at home as early as six days prior to her expected period. This allows for her have a positive home pregnancy test despite the embryo failing to develop into a viable pregnancy. An early positive home pregnancy test result followed by a negative result or a questionable result can be a sign of a chemical pregnancy.

About the Author

Alicia Vaillancourt-Flotte is a graduate of the family studies bachelor degree program at Western Michigan University and is a certified family life educator through the National Council of Family Relations. She has published several how-to guides and articles for Carspace, AllAboutSurrogacy and various other websites.