What is blighted ovum?
Blighted ovum, also known as an embryonic pregnancy, occurs when a fertilized egg implants uterine wall, but does not develop into an embryo. A blighted ovum happens within the first trimester, before a woman knows that she is pregnant. This is a type of miscarriage.
However, the woman might miss a menstrual period and have a positive pregnancy test. This is because the production of a pregnancy hormone secreted from the placenta, which causes some pregnancy symptoms. But when the placenta stops growing and hormone levels go down, the symptom disappear. At this point, minor abdominal cramping, light spotting or bleeding are possible.
How common is blighted ovum?
This health condition is common in older woman. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of blighted ovum?
A blighted ovum can cause some signs of pregnancy in the first few months, which make a woman believe that she is still pregnant. But after that, you may experience:
- Abdominal cramps
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- A period that is heavier than usual
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes blighted ovum?
A blighted ovum is often caused by problems with chromosomes – the structures that carry genes. This may be from a poor-quality sperm or egg. Sometimes, a blighted ovum occurs due to abnormal cell division. When your body recognize this chromosomal abnormality, a miscarriage will happen.
What increases my risk for blighted ovum?
A blighted ovum seems to occur more often in older women.
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is blighted ovum diagnosed?
Most women with a blighted ovum think they really get pregnant until the symptoms appear. Normal pregnancy test cannot diagnose a blighted ovum. That is the reason why doctor need to use an ultrasound test to determine if the pregnancy sac is empty.
How is blighted ovum treated?
When you are diagnosed to have a blighted ovum, the doctor may advise you to wait for a natural miscarriage, instead of having a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) procedure to remove the placental tissues. It is believed that a woman’s body is capable of passing tissue on its own and there is no need for an invasive surgical procedure with the risk of complications.
However, you can choose D&C procedure if you plan on having a pathologist examine the tissues to determine a reason for the miscarriage.
Using a medication such as misoprostol on outpatient basis may be another option. With this medication, you may have more bleeding and side effects.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage blighted ovum?
After a miscarriage, your doctor may recommend that you wait at least for 1 to 3 menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Blighted ovum: What causes it? http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/expert-answers/blighted-ovum/faq-20057783. Accessed July 21, 2016.
Blighted Ovum http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/blighted-ovum. Accessed July 21, 2016.
Anembryonic Pregnancy - Blighted Ovum http://www.medicineonline.com/articles/a/2/Anembryonic-Pregnancy/Blighted-Ovum.html. Accessed July 21, 2016.
Blighted Ovum: Symptoms, Causes And Prevention http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/blighted-ovum/. Accessed July 21, 2016.
Review Date: September 14, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019