Pseudogestational Sac

Definition - What does Pseudogestational Sac mean?

A pseudogestational sac is a buildup of fluid within the uterus that mimics a gestational sac, giving the false appearance of a pregnancy. Pseudo means false and gestational implies pregnancy. A pseudogestational sac affects about 10% of ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies occurring outside the uterus). This means that a pseudosac may be present outside the uterus. This is in contrast to a normal gestational sac, which with its contents, is indicative of a live pregnancy within the uterus.

A pseudosac differs from an empty gestational sac in that the latter does not represent the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. Beta-hCG levels are used to monitor and differentiate between the two.

FertilitySmarts explains Pseudogestational Sac

A pseudogestational sac is caused by bleeding from the inner uterine lining (endometrium) that has been prepared for pregnancy. This results in a collection of fluid within the uterus.

A pseudogestational sac is situated in the center of the endometrial cavity (space within the endometrium). This is in contrast to a true or normal gestational sac, which is present close to the periphery. Also, a normal gestational sac along with its contents gives an appearance of two small bubbles on an ultrasound scan, referred to as the “double sac sign.” However, the absence of this sign does not necessarily denote the presence of a pseudosac. With true sacs, the ultrasound will eventually show a yolk sac and an embryo; these features do not apply to a pseudosac where the uterus will remain empty. As opposed to a true sac, a pseudosac may be associated with the presence of free fluid or blood in the pelvis suggesting an ectopic pregnancy.

Despite these distinguishing features, it is not always possible to recognize a pseudosac, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. If the woman is stable, doctors typically prefer expectant management or the "watch-and-wait" approach. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy, however, warrants immediate surgery.

Because pseudosac may be a component of an ectopic pregnancy, a woman’s capability to get pregnant is likely to be compromised.

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