What Is a Blighted Ovum?

If you are asking what is a blighted ovum, you should know that it is a fertilized egg embedded into the uterus, but a fetus doesn’t develop.

This is the most common cause of early miscarriage. Usually the miscarriage takes place so soon that women don’t even know they are pregnant.

What Is a Blighted Ovum

Information about the women’s blighted ovum

Blighted ovum is the cause of miscarriage in about 50% of the cases. After getting pregnant, the fertilized egg gets embedded into the endometrium. In about 6 weeks an embryo should develop. The amniotic sac also develops around this time.


In case of the blighted ovum of women the amniotic sac does develop, but the embryo doesn’t.  The miscarriage resulting from this problem is caused by chromosomal problems. The problems could be carried by the egg or the sperm. It is also possible that it is caused by abnormal cell division.

When asking what a blighted ovum is, the cause doesn’t really matter, because the body recognizes the abnormality and it ends the pregnancy. You should remember that there is nothing you may have done to save the pregnancy. In the majority of the cases the problem occurs only once.

Signs of the women’s blighted ovum

Even if you encounter this problem, most probably you have experienced the signs of pregnancy. This means that you might have had a missed period or a positive pregnancy test. The signs of the miscarriage include abdominal cramps, vaginal bleeding or spotting or a heavy period.

In case you notice any of these signs and you are asking what is a blighted ovum, it is possible that you have a miscarriage. Nonetheless don’t forget that not all bleeding during the first trimester ends with a miscarriage. Anyway it is best to see your doctor about the symptoms.

Diagnosing the blighted ovum of pregnant women

Even if you are affected by the problem it is possible that you think you have a normal pregnancy. This is because even in this case the hCG levels can increase. After the egg gets implanted, the placenta starts producing the hormone. If you have a blighted ovum the placenta might go on producing the hormone for a while.

This means that the increase of the hormone levels could occur even if you have to ask about a blighted ovum. In order to have an accurate diagnosis there is need for an ultrasound that confirms the lack of the embryo and it also shows that there is only the amniotic sac growing.

What happens next?

In case you get the diagnosis of pregnant women’s blighted ovum, you have to discuss the steps to take with your doctor. Sometimes women have a D&C. During the procedure the cervix is dilated and the uterus is emptied. Since all the pregnancy tissue is immediately removed, it can help you get emotional and physical closure.

Now you know the answer to the question what is a blighted ovum and you also know that it’s not your fault.


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