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What's normal after a chemical pregnancy?

Several months ago, I had a chemical pregnancy. That was very upsetting, but we moved on. I have not had my period for 3 months. No spotting, but I have been dizzy when going from sitting down to standing up.

I also have tender breasts (not excruciating pain, but noticeable) and I was shedding quite a bit of hair (it's either been less or I've just gotten used to it), and I was getting a lot of headaches.

I went to the doctor to take a pregnancy test after 70 days of no period and the result was negative. A week later, still negative. What's going on with me? Thanks for any insight you can give me!


Toby Marshall | Obstetrician

Toby Marshall

There are several things going on right now, but the good thing is: they're all normal.

The feeling dizzy when you stand up can be a sign of a little anemia, but that's not very likely if you've been on prenatal vitamins and eat a normal diet. It is more likely to be sign of dehydration related to the extreme heat of the summer, or to something I'll touch on in a second. You will need to see your doctor to make sure.

The hair loss is a very common finding after a pregnancy ends. The very high hormone levels that occur with even a "chemical pregnancy" can have the effect of synchronizing the hair follicles to all be in the same stage of growth.  Usually, the hair follicles are randomly distributed among growing, dormant, or shedding stages. The hormones synchronize the growth so that the hair all sheds at the same time. This is called telogen effluvium.  Over time, the follicles will de-synchronize and return to normal. 

The prolonged time without a period is indicative of an ovarian cyst.  These are quite common and happen to most women from time to time. The cyst fails to release an egg and produces a lot of extra hormones that will cause breast tenderness and even the symptoms of dizziness that you're having. Without releasing the egg, the uterus never gets the signal to have a period.

In summary, these are all pretty normal things that happen and don't indicate a real problem, but if you want to get pregnant and aren't releasing your eggs you will need to see your doctor, because there are some simple medications and management options that can help straighten everything out. Good luck.

Read more answers by Dr. Marshall