Blighted Ovum

Definition - What does Blighted Ovum mean?

A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg is able to implant in the uterus, but does not advance to the stage of the embryo. It can be described as an empty gestational sac, where the embryo does not develop.

It often occurs due to the presence of abnormalities in the chromosomes of the sperm, the egg or the fertilized egg or cell division. This event may happen in the early days of pregnancy.

A blighted ovum is also known as an anembryonic (no embryo) pregnancy or early fetal loss.

FertilitySmarts explains Blighted Ovum

Despite the miscarriage that follows a blighted ovum implantation in the uterus, it is possible to still have signs of pregnancy, such as a positive pregnancy test or a delay in starting a menstrual period. This is due to the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), an important hormone produced by the placenta after the implantation of the fertilized egg in the endometrium.

The levels of this hormone may continue to increase in the blood because the placenta has the ability to grow, despite an embryo not being present. In these cases, an ultrasound can verify if the gestational sac is empty.

Experiencing a blighted ovum miscarriage is very common and it cannot be prevented. This miscarried pregnancy may be a one-time event in a woman’s lifetime and can be followed by a successful pregnancy

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