Blighted ovum – What causes it?

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What is a Blighted ovum?

A blighted ovum is a fertilized egg that does not form an embryo but implants in the uterus. It is also known as anembryonic pregnancy. It is considered to be a leading cause of early pregnancy failure, and it occurs so early that you do not know you are pregnant. A blighted ovum results in two or three miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy. A miscarriage typically occurs whenever a pregnancy ends on its own within the first 20 weeks.

When a woman becomes pregnant, the fertilized egg attaches itself near the uterine wall. The embryo should be formed after five to six weeks of pregnancy. Due to the blighted ovum, the pregnancy sac grows, but the embryo fails to grow. This is why a blighted ovum is also called an anembryonic pregnancy.

What Causes a Blighted Ovum?

Problems with chromosomes are the important reasons for blighted ovum. This is because of the poor-quality sperm or egg. It may sometimes occur due to abnormal cell division. Pregnancy stops when the body deducts the abnormalities.

The occurrence of blighted ovum typically appears natural and cannot be prevented. It occurs only once for most of the women.

What are the signs of a Blighted Ovum?

With a blighted ovum, you may have experienced multiple pregnancy signs. For example, you may have had a positive pregnancy test or a delay in periods. Then you may encounter miscarriages like:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Heavy pain during period

How to diagnose blighted ovum?

A blighted ovum is first observed on the first ultrasound is taken during a prenatal appointment. The sonogram displays the placenta and the interior empty embryonic sac. A blighted ovum occurs between the 10th and 18th weeks of pregnancy.

With a blighted ovum, HCG continues to rise because the placenta may grow despite the absence of an embryo. This is why an ultrasound test is mandatory to diagnose a blighted ovum.

What are the treatment options available for blighted ovum?

Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you if a blighted ovum is discovered during a prenatal appointment. This may include:

  • waiting for symptoms to appear
  • taking medication, such as Misoprostol
  • A Surgical procedure called D and C (dilation and curettage) should be done to remove the placental tissues from the uterus.

Your doctor will monitor your previous pregnancy details, your medical history, and your mindset before deciding on any treatment for this disorder. The doctor will elaborate on the possible side effects and the risks involved in medication or surgical procedures.

In rare cases, a blighted ovum may cause a temporary loss of a pregnancy. Miscarriages can be emotionally difficult for women, but there is no other way out. These are all the reasons why the women decide to terminate blighted ovum surgically or with medication. Some cohort of women prefers miscarriages to happen on their own. Try to hold a brief discussion with your doctor if you opt for any treatment regarding this in the future.

Can we prevent Blighted Ovum?

Unfortunately, blighted ovum cannot be prevented. It is an inevitable disorder. If you are concerned about blighted ovum, talk to your doctor regularly about the precautions you need to carry forward to avoid blighted ovum in the future. This may reduce 90% chances of getting prone to blighted ovum.

What are the complications regarding future pregnancy?

Generally, women do have many questions in their minds post blighted ovum. They require some time for their mind and body to heal. Your doctor will give you brief advice about when to conceive again. Naturally, aiting until three complete menstrual cycles are recommended by most gynecologists so that your body is ready to support pregnancy. Doing the underlying things will help you stay focused and healthy during the blighted ovum period.

  • Eating High Nutrition food
  • Proper Meditation
  • Good Exercise
  • Taking Healthy Supplements prescribed by the doctor

After recovering from a blighted ovum, check genetics, egg quality, and sperm quality with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend testing for the following conditions.

  • Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), a genetic analysis of embryos that can be done before implantation into the uterus
  • sperm quality can be easily determined using sperm analysis
  • Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) tests are d improve egg quality.


Chromosomal anomalies are touted to be the main cause of blighted ovum. Once you get affected by blighted ovum, there are fewer chances of getting affected by it again. So do not panic during blighted ovum. Most women experience healthy and successful pregnancies post blighted ovum.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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