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A blighted ovum is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg makes its way to the uterus, and nestles there, but the embryo does not develop and is reabsorbed by the body. In the majority of cases, a blighted ovum leads to an early miscarriage (around 50 percent of all early miscarriages are caused by a blighted ovum). But in some cases, an amniotic sack continues to grow, and the woman will experience pregnancy symptoms as if the pregnancy was normal. What are symptoms that point to a blighted ovum?

A blighted ovum is also called an anembryonic gestation, something that literally means a pregnancy without embryo. The causes of a blighted ovum are not always clear, but medical professionals say that chromosomal problems with the embryo are often the reason that it stops developing. The body is capable of reabsorbing the tissues that were formed, so an ultrasound could show an empty amniotic sac. Most women who have experienced an anembryonic pregnancy only found out about it once symptoms of miscarriage became clear. Vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping are the most common ones. Other women, however, have classical pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and early pregnancy fatigue, and find out about their blighted ovum during a routine ultrasound.

Unfortunately, nothing can predict a blighted ovum. The lack of symptoms can be disturbing. Fortunately, one blighted ovum does not mean that you are not likely to go on to have a totally healthy pregnancy afterward. Very early miscarriages are very common, and many of them could be unidentified cases of blighted ovum. If you have suffered a miscarriage, it can help to remind yourself that most women who miscarry do have healthy pregnancies later on, while also giving yourself time to grieve for your loss.

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