Blighted Ovum and Missed Miscarriage
Finding out that you are pregnant is such exciting news and you cannot wait to tell everyone! Morning sickness, hot flushes, cravings and tender breasts gives you definite signs that you are pregnant. A pregnancy test shows you that you are positive and off to the gynaecologist you go, only to find an ultra sound showing a sac with no baby.
The doctor will do the scan externally and then will have to do an internal examination which will show the sac.... empty.
What is a blighted Ovum?
A blighted ovum or anembryonic pregnancy is when the fertilised egg implants into the uterus but doesn't develop into an embryo.
It is the leading cause of miscarriage or early pregnancy failure.
When a woman becomes pregnant a fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterus wall and at about 5 or 6 weeks into pregnancy an embryo should be present and the gestational sac should be about 18mm wide.
With a blighted ovum the pregnancy sac forms and grows but the embryo does not develop.
Why Does it Happen?
When you fall pregnant the placenta produces a hormone called HGC which is a pregnancy hormone. The levels can rise and should keep rising almost by double each day but with a blighted ovum your hormone levels or HGC could be low and your body might not produce enough of it for the embryo to develop.
It can happen to anyone and for most women who have had a blighted ovum, it will only happen once.
It could be due to problems with chromosomes ( the structure that carry genes) from a poor quality sperm or egg.
It may also be due to abnormal cell division and the body recognises this abnormality and then stops the pregnancy.
You cannot prevent it and it is nothing that you have done wrong it just happens!
Once your body has recognised that there is a problem it starts to terminate the pregnancy.
You will experience bad cramping and vaginal spotting or bleeding. As not all pregnancies end after experiencing bleeding you need to consult a doctor urgently.
Spotting in pregnancy can sometimes be found normal but if it is heavy bleeding with cramps then you need to understand that you are experiencing a miscarriage. Clots or tissue like substances discharge out of the vagina and this means that the body is getting rid of pregnancy tissue.
To avoid more emotional stress it is best to have a D and C (Dilation and Curettage)or D and E (Dilation and Evacuation) where the gynaecologist will remove the pregnancy sac and tissue in order for you to eventually try pregnancy again.
A Dilation and Evacuation procedure is done in the second trimester of a pregnancy. A Dilation and Curettage is done before.
Don't ignore cramping and bleeding as this is a symptom of miscarriage. If you are lucky enough a blighted ovum could happen without you even knowing that you are pregnant but for most it happens up to 3 months into your pregnancy which is not pleasant and it is encouraged to go and have the D and E to avoid more trauma to your mental state.
Having a miscarriage is something that cannot be prevented and you must know that it is not your fault.
The morning sickness and all the pregnancy symptoms will still be there for a little while but it won't last long after the procedure.
Expect to be in hospital for half a day, once the procedure is done, you will wake up and feel the need to go to the toilet. It will be painful to urinate for about a week.
The emotional pain is worse and it will take some time to heal.
Make sure that you go back to the doctor to check that the procedure went well and get yourself back on track, physically.
Is there a Chance the Baby will Show?
Many women visit the gynaecologist at 5 weeks and he does a scan or internal ultrasound. This will show an empty sac and the gynae will know how wide the sac should be. He will then let you wait a while before you come back to have another scan in order to check for the baby in case it is hiding behind the sac. In most cases women have waited until 10 weeks and a baby has appeared and they continue to have a healthy pregnancy but most end up having a miscarriage later on in their pregnancy which could be even more devastating.
Should you have been for the scan and experienced an empty sac, have bleeding and cramps then please note that you are having a miscarriage and that the baby will not be showing up.
Don't get despondent as it can happen to anyone and it does not spoil your chance of falling pregnant in the future.
Having your gynae do the D and E is a must to ensure that all the pregnancy tissue is removed and it will also prevent infection. Do not have the miscarriage at home by yourself as chances of infection are high and emotionally not worth it.
Many websites and chat rooms will have comments to show that women who have a blighted ovum will see the baby by 10 weeks but should there be bleeding and cramps then there is no chance of it happening and the sooner you come to terms with it the better for you to move forward and try again.
Bleeding with cramps is a miscarriage.... no buts, that is what it is so don't wait.
Trying to figure out why it happened could end up driving you crazy. Go through the process, have a support team beside you and take the time to mourn and let out your sadness.
It is nothing that you have done or should have done differently and sometimes it is due to stress or it is simply not your time to be pregnant.
This does not mean that you will not be able to fall pregnant and you will have a healthy and happy pregnancy some other time.
HGC levels should rise consistently up to about 10 to 12 weeks of gestation and then they plateau or drop. This is why symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, tender breasts happen in the first trimester.
This hormone is produced by the cells that will eventually become the placenta.
These levels usually double every 2 to 3 days with an increase of 60%.
It is detected in urine or blood.
Having a low count does not mean you will not have a healthy baby but you need to consult with your gynaecologist.
With a miscarriage or blighted ovum, the hormone levels drop or stay the same which will indicate that it is not going well.
Before you decide to have a baby, take Folic Acid and ensure that you have vitamins and minerals in your body so that you can be super healthy when you decide to try for a baby.
Taking extra care of your health and what you eat or don't eat is important to be able to carry a pregnancy.
Miscarriage and Emotions
After you have miscarried you will want to figure out why it happened, was it something that you did, didn't do or are you and your partner unable to have a baby?
STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!!
Miscarriage happens and I believe that it is the powers that be that decide if it is your time or not. There is nothing that you could possibly have done to avoid this, it just was not your time to be pregnant.
Take the time to mourn, take the time to heal physically and your emotional state will get better.
For some, it is easy and they can get back on track and go straight into trying again, whilst for others it is difficult and continuously in your mind.
To be healthy emotionally, you have got to let go of the miscarriage and concentrate on other things to keep your mind busy.
Worrying and continuously thinking about the miscarriage or pregnancy will keep the bad energy there and you will find that once you have stopped thinking about it, that is the time when you will fall pregnant.
People say that it is age and yes hormone levels drop when you get older but it has nothing to do with age.
You will feel better in a couple of months and unless you fall pregnant, it will be on your mind all the time.
A friend or family member having a baby, walking past a mom and her baby and simply seeing one in a magazine, could trigger your emotions.
To get yourself emotionally repaired, you have got to understand that it was not your fault and that you too will be a mother of a healthy child one day.
Get active, keep healthy, keep busy and leave it all in God's hands because the more you concentrate on the loss, the worse it will feel for you.
The Pill and Health for Pregnancy
Being on the Pill is not healthy if you are on it for too long. Avoid Yasmin and find something that is not too strong. (You need to ask a doctor for the best one.)
If you have been on the pill for a long time then take a break from it.
Keep yourself fit and healthy, even if you just go for a walk everyday, just to keep the heart pumping well.
Eat nutritious food and avoid alcohol, cigarettes and don't forget to have your folic acid and pregnancy vitamins before you become pregnant.
If you have had a miscarriage then have a half a disprin every day until your doctor tells you not to.
You have got to be stress free when you are pregnant and you have to take the time to relax.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.