What is BioChemical Pregnancy? How is it Confirmed?
A biochemical pregnancy is a pregnancy which has detectable hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone) tested through Blood or when Urine Pregnancy Test is Positive for pregnancy but the pregnancy does not develop enough to be seen on ultrasound by the IVF specialist.
Biochemical pregnancy is therefore diagnosed on the basis of a Blood Test and Ultrasound by an IVF specialist.
Biochemical pregnancy is also known as – Pre Clinical Embryo loss or Chemical Pregnancy.
All chemical pregnancies are, by definition, unsuccessful and the only evidence of the early pregnancy is the measurement of hCG in a woman’s blood or urine. Ultrasound done by an Infertility specialist at any point of time will not reveal any evidence of such pregnancy.
Is Bio chemical pregnancy and miscarriage same?
No, they are different. A biochemical pregnancy is confirmed by an IVF specialist before clinical stage of pregnancy and therefore called Pre-Clinical Pregnancy or Chemical Pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy is a term used to describe a very early miscarriage which occurs before the fifth week of gestation and well before the fetus can be visibly detected on an ultrasound. A chemical pregnancy is believed to affect as many as 75 percent of pregnancies that end in miscarriage.
What are the reasons for Biochemical pregnancy?
In most cases, IVF specialists are unable to identify the exact cause of biochemical pregnancy. In some cases, the causes are as follows: Genetic abnormality in embryo, Abnormality in thickness or pattern of endometrium, Immunological or hormonal imbalance.
What to do after Biochemical Pregnancy?
Once biochemical pregnancy is diagnosed by an fertility specialist , you should wait till beta hCG levels come back to normal. (Undetectable on blood test or urine test). After that, your IVF specialist might perform some other blood tests or an ultrasound and guide you further.
If I had a previous biochemical pregnancy, what are the chances of success in my next IVF Cycle?
Biochemical pregnancy does not have any negative impact on future pregnancies. Some studies have shown that women who have had biochemical pregnancies in the past have a better chance of having a successful pregnancy outcome in the future.
Even in IVF cases, biochemical pregnancy should be considered as a positive predictive factor for success in subsequent IVF cycles. So, in short, chances of having a successful pregnancy after a biochemical pregnancy are good.
Is there any treatment for biochemical pregnancy ? Can biochemical pregnancies be prevented in future pregnancies?
There is no definite treatment proposed.
During subsequent natural conception or IVF attempts, some strategies may be:
- To rectify endocrinologic disorders if any
- Attempt Blastocycst Transfer (Extended Embryo Culture)
- PGT-A ( genetic testing of embryos only to be considered if there is history of repeated biochemical pregnancies)
- Usage of Anti-thrombotic therapy like Aspirin and LMW Heparin.