A blighted ovum pregnancy is also known as amembryonic pregnancy and occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall but does not develop any further. The cells develop enough to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo. This usually happens within the first trimester, often before the female is aware she is pregnant. Many of these types of pregnancies go unnoticed, but when a woman goes so far as to think she is pregnant, this event can be tragic and heartbreaking. One should not despair, however, because there is hope for the future.
Since a blighted ovum issue generally happens before a woman realizes she is pregnant, one might not notice the blighted ovum symptoms that occur. One may experience a missed or a late menstrual period; a positive pregnancy test; minor abdominal cramps and bloating; minor vaginal spotting or bleeding; or a heavier period than usual or one that is a few days to a week late. These blighted ovum symptoms, however, might be misleading, as they are all similar to the signs of early pregnancy. A woman may just assume she is going through a normal pregnancy. The only way one can know for sure if a blighted ovum incident has occurred is with an ultrasound test that shows an empty womb or birth sac. When the doctor performs the test and sees this, he or she will generally inform the woman of what has happened and provide any necessary follow up or aftercare.
A blighted ovum causes about 50 percent of all first trimester miscarriages. A woman should not blame herself if this occurs, as the cause of a blighted ovum or false pregnancy is usually chromosomal problems. There is nothing a woman can do or not do physically that would cause a blighted ovum. The woman’s body has simply recognized abnormal chromosomes in a fetus and enacted certain changes in order to not continue the pregnancy. This is because the body senses that the fetus will not develop into a normal, healthy baby. This may be caused by abnormal cell division or an egg or sperm that is of poor quality. It may cause comfort to some to know that if the blighted ovum issue had not occurred, the child would have had serious or even fatal health or mental issues.
Sadly, a blighted ovum can generally not be prevented. However, this is usually a one time occurrence, and very few women experience multiple episodes of blighted ovum. If this occurs, one should seek out the help of a doctor or a fertility specialist. If this condition reoccurs habitually, it can generally not be treated, though this is not always the case. Doctors often recommend that couples wait 1 to 3 regular menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again. Though the experience and disappointment that go along with a blighted ovum pregnancy are disheartening, they should not stop one from trying to have children again.