What is Blighted Ovum Pregnancy Loss?

What is Blighted Ovum Pregnancy Loss?

What Is A Blighted Ovum

A blighted ovum is a very early pregnancy loss. In the case of a blighted ovum, the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, but an embryo does not develop. However, when a blighted ovum occurs, the woman’s body does not recognize that either the fertilized egg is not developing or has for some reason stopped developing, and the gestational sac continues to grow without a fetus inside. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

The body’s cells continue to form the gestational sac, but not the actual embryo or fetus. A blighted ovum does not mean that a pregnancy never occurred. Rather, the egg was fertilized, and implanted in the uterine wall, it just did not develop properly.

When Does A Blighted Ovum Occur?

Blighted ovum pregnancy loss usually occurs in very early pregnancy, most usually before a woman even knows that she is pregnant. When a blighted ovum occurs, a woman might think that she is actually pregnant, experiencing signs such as late or missed periods.

Some women even have a positive pregnancy test when they have a blighted ovum. Tests can even show that a woman’s hCG levels are increasing when she has a blighted ovum. This is because even without a baby present, the placenta can continue to develop and grow (for a short time), and pregnancy hormones can continue to increase.

Most often, a woman does not know that she has suffered from blighted ovum pregnancy loss until she has an ultrasound done, and the ultrasound shows an empty sac rather than a growing fetus. This can come as a shock to many women, who might have thought their pregnancy was progressing normally up to that point.

What Causes Blighted Ovum Pregnancy Loss?

Blighted ovum pregnancy loss is thought to be caused by a high level of chromosomal abnormalities. Blighted ovum pregnancy loss is not caused by anything that a woman does or does not do in her early pregnancy, it is something that is out of a woman’s hands. Most usually, a blighted ovum is caused by poor quality egg or sperm, or poor cell division.

Very Common Occurrence

Blighted ovum pregnancy loss is very common, and actually accounts for somewhere around fifty percent of early pregnancy miscarriages. Most often, a blighted ovum is a one time occurrence and it is usually unlikely that a woman will have more than one.

Doctors can recommend whether or not a woman with a blighted ovum should undergo a D&C procedure, or if she should just wait and let things progress naturally. If you have a blighted ovum, your doctor will be able to help you with the choices and help you decide what is the best option for you to take.

You may have a hard time recovering from the loss and it’s perfectly understandable. However, when you are ready, know that there are ways to get pregnant after pregnancy loss like a blighted ovum.

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Dr. Renee Hanton, MD
Dr. Renee Hanton, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)