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A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the inside of the uterus but does not develop into a fetus. It is also known as an anembryonic pregnancy. It is usually caused by a problem with the egg or sperm or the combination of both. Stress, exercise, or sex does not cause this problem. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it.
You are likely to miscarry—pass the ovum tissue—by the end of your first trimester. Medicine may be used to help the tissue pass. Or a procedure may be used to remove the tissue.
Your body will recover over the next several weeks. Having a miscarriage does not mean that you cannot have a normal pregnancy in the future. If you have had multiple miscarriages in a row, your doctor or midwife may suggest testing to check for possible causes.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor, midwife, or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor, midwife, or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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