PGD & Chemical Pregnancy
1 Replies
Bella123 - January 22

Hi, I just had a chemical pregnancy from my 2nd IVF which also included ICSI and PGD. What are the causes of chemical pregnancies? I thought PGD would get rid of the chromosomal problems.

 

Dr Smith - January 23

A "chemical" pregnancy means that the embryo reached the blastocyst stage, attached and implanted into the uterine lining. The sac (placental) portion of the blastocyst stage embryo secretes the hormone hCG. Once the embryo has implanted, the secreted hCG makes its way into the maternal bloodstream and is detected by the blood test. If the embryo continues to grow, the amount of hCG in the maternal blood increases. If the embryo stops growing (arrests), then the hCG plateaus and then falls before a gestational sac can be seen on ultrasound. Hence, a "chemical" pregnancy since the hCG was the only evidence of a pregnancy.

PGD is not a panacea. It does not detect all chromosomal problems (it only tests for a maximum of 9 chromosomes out of the 23 pairs) nor does it detect more subtle gene defects that can cause embryonic arrest shortly after implantation. I'm sorry this wasn't fully explained when PGD was being recommended to you. PGD is a very limited tool for detecting genetic problems in embryos.

Chemical pregnancies are not always caused by genetically abnormal embryos. Autoimmune and clotting problems can also cause chemical pregnancies.

 

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