What is a blighted ovum?

A blighted ovum occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall, but embryo formation does not take place. It is also called as an embryonic pregnancy, which is whencell development takes place for the formation of a pregnancy sac but not the embryo. This condition occurs in the very initial phase of pregnancy,  even before a woman may know she is pregnant. This natural miscarriage occurs mainly due to high chromosomal abnormality. Read on to know more about this natural miscarriage called the blighted ovum.

How is an embryonic Pregnancy Diagnosed?

This occurs in the early stages of pregnancy when a woman is experiencing normal signs of pregnancy including late or missed menstrual periods and a positive pregnancy test. Most women assume that they are having a safe and healthy pregnancy due to the rise in hCG levels.  But even if something has gone wrong, the placenta continues its growth without the baby for a very short period. This empty sac growth results in the rise of pregnancy hormones. A woman feels and tests pregnant.  Then there may be   minor spotting or bleeding or minor abdominal cramps, and the spotting might be a little heavier than the woman’s usual spotting. She may not know she is pregnant, but has the cramps and spotting out of her normal cycle.
These are some of the signs, but a diagnosis of an embryonic pregnancy can be made only after an ultrasound, which shows an empty birth sac or an empty womb.

What causes a blighted ovum?

An embryonic pregnancy often occurs as a result of chromosomal disorders. The body identifies such chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus and naturally does not continue with the pregnancy. When this happens, the fetus does not grow into a healthy and normal baby. This can also occur due to poor egg or sperm quality and improper cell division.

These are some of the causes and signs of blighted ovum.

If this type of miscarriage occurs, then couples are advised to go for genetic testing, especially if multiple pregnancies/miscarriages happen. Most health care professionals advise all couples to wait at least 1-3 regular and normal menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again to avoid another miscarriage.

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