Health Watch — Healthy Pregnancy: Miscarriage Signs

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about healthy pregnancies. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies result in a baby. One of the more common forms of miscarriage involves an egg that implants and gives all the signs of a pregnancy without actually developing into a fetus.

This condition is called a blighted ovum. Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician-gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the placenta with the blighted ovum is what causes the signs of pregnancy – including a positive pregnancy test. This can be confusing for women who feel pregnant but who don’t actually have an embryo. Signs of a blighted ovum pregnancy include spotting and cramps, and an ultrasound will reveal that there is no embryo. The situation usually resolves itself as the body will either reabsorb or eject the uterine contents. If there’s heavy bleeding or infection, doctors will intervene. A blighted ovum doesn’t affect a woman’s future fertility.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/obgyn to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in gynecology and obstetrics.

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August 2008

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