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Blighted Ovum

Blighted ovum is a leading cause of early miscarriage . The American Pregnancy Association estimates that blighted ovum causes approximately 50 percent of all first-trimester miscarriages. About 20 percent of all pregnancies result in miscarriage.

A blighted ovum, also known as anembryonic pregnancy, occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall but does not develop into an embryo. An embryo sac will develop, but the embryo does not.

Blighted ovum miscarriage occurs very early in the first trimester of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant. Doctors can diagnose a blighted ovum with an ultrasound, which will show an empty womb or empty birth sac.

Blighted Ovum Causes

Blighted ovum is usually caused by chromosomal abnormalities, either the result of abnormal cell division or poor quality of the sperm or the egg. The woman’s body recognizes the abnormality and stops the pregnancy from progressing.

Signs of Blighted Ovum

Before a blighted ovum is diagnosed, a woman may experience signs of pregnancy, including a missed menstrual period or even a positive pregnancy test. Many women with blighted ovum believe their pregnancy is progressing normally, since their levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy, may increase. Levels of hCG continue to rise because the placenta may continue to grow, even though no embryo is developing.

A blighted ovum may also cause other signs of miscarriage, including abdominal cramps, vaginal spotting or vaginal bleeding, and a period that is heavier than usual.

Treatment for Blighted Ovum

Once you have been diagnosed with blighted ovum, you need to decide whether you want a surgical procedure or to continue with a natural miscarriage. This is a personal decision for many women. For early pregnancy miscarriages, many doctors recommend foregoing surgical procedures in favor or allowing a woman’s body to pass the tissue on its own and eliminating surgical complications.

A surgical procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) may be used. In this surgical technique, the cervix is dilated and the contents of the uterus removed. Many women choose to have a D&C to give them closure to the miscarriage. It is also helpful if the couple had planned on having a pathologist examine the tissue to determine the reason for miscarriage.

It is important to note that blighted ovum is often a one-time occurrence.

Before trying to conceive after a miscarriage, many doctors recommend waiting one to three cycles.


Comments (15)

Hello, I am not yet diagnosed with BO but talk was into place upon it. I was sent by two separate Drs for an ultrasound(2 a piece) and neither one produced a embryo. My final ultrasound was given on 10/12/2016 and we spotted a VERY tiny embryo and an heartbeat of 82. Please can someone give me clarification Upon what's possibly happening. Btw; I'm 7 weeks and 5 days.

Grace, I had a Bligh ovum and I had 3 children after it . then another miss carriage . this does not mean you won't convieve and have a child it is something that just happens . don't give up hope ! I am now a mother of 4 children . its always painful to miscarry but don't give up you will have a baby .

Hi ! I had Oblighted Ovum twice this year ,my 1st was last march ,i was 3months pregnant when we found out that the sac was still empty . Then last friday i found out that my 8weeks pregnancy is still Oblighted Ovum :( so painful as i was expecting that this will be my chance to have a baby again ,i did not expect that i will have oblighted ovum twice in a row :( But i still have high hopes ...God has always a reason for everything & i trust Him....i will not give up soon i will we will try again but we have to work it out ,to find the cause so we can do something about it. I will have my D&C maybe next day. I'm still preparing myself emotionallly ,physically & spiritually . May God always Bless us...

Jasmine, I am so sorry you are going through this! You should check out the forums on for support and to chat with others in your situation.


I've recently found out I had a blighted ovum at 11 weeks pregnant (first pregnancy). I am now tearing myself a part and thinking that all of my eggs are bad. Can someone please provide some light? Perhaps those who've had a blighted ovum before and carried on to have healthy babies? Thanks, Alexis

i was just diagonised with a blighted ovum at 13 weeks pregnancy by usg without miscarriage symtoms. what i do?can i wait for natural miscarriage or do immediate abortion?

I'm so sorry. For some women, a D&C helps with closure. Others will wait to miscarry naturally with an early pregnancy loss. Talk to your doctor regarding your options and decide what is best for you. Best, Claire

If you are having pain or any medicals concerns, please see a doctor as soon as possible. Best, Claire

hi,i have pregnant 22months before but it blighted ovum i did surgerical abortion.after 6 months we did family planing by using condoms.after 6months we again start trying for pregnant and finally i got pregnant last lmp is 6-1-2014.and idid hcg test in my home it has a one bright line and light colour line in world t.but i am suffering from leg pains and abodominal pain.why it happen abdominal pain i am feari.g about that my urine had burning sensations plz help me .is it was simptoms of blighted ovum

I too was just diagnosed with a blighted ovum. This is the second time in a year and a half that this has happened to me. I'm very upset and don't understand what's happening. I'm being sent to the "Family Planning" dept of Columbia University Dr.s tomorrow for removal procedure. I'm not sure who I should go to for help figuring out the reason for my unfortunate situation. Any recommendations?

I'm so sorry you are worried. A blighted ovum won't necessarily cause infertility, but if you have been trying to get pregnant and it's not happening, you really should see a fertility doctor. They can do a fertility workup on you and your husband, to determine if there is a problem and if so, provide a treatment plan. Please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or We can help you find a doctor in your area. Best, Claire

Hi everyone. Just want to ask if blight ovum can cause infertility because very worried about it. I have a blight ovum 2years before and now im trying to got pregnant but cannot, is this because my blight ovum or my new husband sperm is not good? Pls help me.

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