advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
I recently had a chemical pregnancy, which I had never heard of before. I am 38 and had a successful pregnancy two years ago. I have read that B6 and progesterone treatments can help lengthen your luteal phase and possibly help prevent these chemical pregnancies. What is your view on this and any suggestions?
A
Answer (Published 3/24/2008)

The term "chemical pregnancy" means a very early miscarriage, often within two to four weeks after conception. In many cases, women may not even be aware that they have conceived. It's estimated that chemical pregnancies account for 50 to 75 percent of all miscarriages. Most of the time, they result from a chromosomal abnormality in an egg or sperm or some glitch in cell division after fertilization. In other words, these miscarriages are the body's way of getting rid of flawed embryos. Other causes of miscarriage include hormonal problems, infections, smoking, drug use, malnutrition, and exposure to radiation or toxic substances.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Women's Health Issues - If you are going through menopause, a support group can be helpful. The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide has a vibrant, active community of supportive members, and a dedicated moderator to help guide you along. Start your 14-day free trial now!

Statistics show that the chances of having any type of miscarriage following normal conception range from 15 to 20 percent among healthy women. In women between the ages of 35 and 45, the risk increases to 20 to 35 percent; in women over age 45, to 50 percent.

The likelihood for future miscarriages is greater after successive pregnancy losses, but after a single one, the risk is about 15 percent - no higher than the risk following no losses.

If you do have another chemical pregnancy, talk to your ob/gyn about testing to determine what went wrong. Insufficient progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is one of the factors that has been implicated in recurrent miscarriages, but there is no reliable method available to diagnose this problem and, from what I've read, treatment rarely succeeds.

Bear in mind, however, since most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, you can't do much to prevent them. Because women are born with all the eggs they will ever release already in their ovaries, they should be taught at an early age to limit their exposures to harmful chemicals and radiation. However, you can prepare for a healthy pregnancy by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, managing your stress levels, controlling your weight, taking folic acid (400 mcg) and not smoking (and staying away from secondhand smoke).

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here