Blighted Ovum

I recently had an ultrasound which revealed my pregnancy to be a blighted ovum. What does this mean?


A blighted ovum is considered to be a form of spontaneous miscarriage and is characterized through ultrasound by the absence of an embryo (anembryonic pregnancy). Blighted ovum, like other first trimester miscarriages, are associated with a high incidence of chromosomal abnormalities. It is not caused by the same abnormalities that cause a molar pregnancy.

Background Information

In a blighted ova pregnancy there is fertilization and development of preembyonic cells, but the embryo does not form. A placenta, is also formed, but the placenta and a functional vasculature are not formed normally.

In blighted ova pregnancy, specific proteins, such as alpha feta protein and pregnancy-specific protein beta 1 glycoprotein are not produced in normal quantities. Some have theorized that insufficient luteal function plays a role in the development of anembryonic pregnancies.

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