What is a Blighted Ovum
Blighted ovum is a condition in which the just formed zygote implants in the uterus but does not develop into an embryo. In most cases, the embryo starts to grow but after the sixth week, the zygote stops developing and is absorbed by the uterine walls. The gastrointestinal sac remains in some of the cases and when the woman goes to the doctor, it is realized that there is nothing in the sac. In other cases, the developed zygote is miscarriage within the first trimester of the pregnancy.
What causes blighted ovum?
- Blighted ovum is cause by several factors according to experts. These causes include
- Low quality gametes (sperms and ova)
- Abnormal cell division after ova is fertilized
- Abnormal chromosomal functions
- Low hormone levels
The first three causes of the condition cannot be influenced by doctors but the low hormone levels can. When it is realized that a woman has low hormonal levels, hormone pills are prescribed to raise the levels of the hormone required for the development of the embryo. In the case of low quality gametes, the parents may explore the option of getting donated gametes. They will have to be diagnosed to determine who has low quality gametes of the two thus determining what they should get; ova or sperms.
Symptoms of blighted ovum
It is important to note that this condition is usually experienced within the first trimester of the pregnancy. During this time, the women will get most of the pregnancy symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that may be experienced that are associated with the blighted ovum condition. They include
- Abdominal cramps
- Heavy periods
- Spot bleeding
If these symptoms are experienced, the pregnant woman should visit a doctor immediately. Most doctors are aware that these conditions are associated with the blight ovum condition and will usually diagnose the woman. They will check the embryo by using the ultrasound to determine whether there is an embryo or not. Transvaginal ultrasound is the most effective method of diagnosing the condition. The condition is characterized by an empty sac in the uterus. Women diagnosed with the condition are informed that the sac will be aborted.
They can either wait for the natural abortion in which the remains which are miscarriage or have an artificial abortion. Artificial abortion involves dilation of the cervix and having the remains removed manually. At that point, the doctor may offer to have the wife and the husband tested to determine whether they have chromosomal abnormalities or poor quality gametes. This is important to prevent blight ovum condition in future. If one of them is noted to have any abnormalities, they are informed to consider artificial fertilization. That is the one of the few solutions to blighted ovum