A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but then either doesn’t develop at all or stops developing very early.  A blighted ovum is consindered a miscarriage.  It is sometimes referred to as an "anembryonic pregnancy" – a pregnamcy without an embryo.

If you experience a blighted ovum, you will likely get a positive pregnancy test result.  With a blighted ovum, the placenta begins to develop as normal and secretes human chorionic gonadtrophin (hCG) which pregnacy tests check for.  You may also experience symptoms common in early pregnancy such as fatigue and nausea. 

You may notice some spotting or staining if you have a blighted ovum.  As your hormone levels recede, you may experience cramping or bleeding.  If you have cramping or bleeding and your uterus is not growing as it should, your physician will probably perform an ultrasound.  If you have blighted ovum, the ultrasould will reveal an empty gestational sac.

A blighted ovum will most likely cause you to miscarry by the end of your first trimester.  This miscarriage process can sometimes take weeks on its own.  Your physician may wish to perform a suction curettage or dilation and curettage to remove the tissue, to spare you weeks of symptoms and possible emotional trauma.

As with most types of miscarriage, your physician may recommend that you wait two full cycles before trying to conceive again. 

What is a Blighted Ovum?