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What is a blighted ovum?

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A blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus but doesn't develop into an embryo. It is also referred to as an an embryonic (no embryo) pregnancy and is a leading cause of early pregnancy failure or miscarriage. Often, it occurs so early that you don't even know you are pregnant.

From: Blighted Ovum WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Pregnancy Association: "Miscarriage."  American Pregnancy Association: "Blighted Ovum." Deutchman, M. , June 1, 2009. National Institutes of Health: "Drug Offers Alternative to Surgical Treatment After Miscarriage."



American Family Physician

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2019

SOURCES: American Pregnancy Association: "Miscarriage."  American Pregnancy Association: "Blighted Ovum." Deutchman, M. , June 1, 2009. National Institutes of Health: "Drug Offers Alternative to Surgical Treatment After Miscarriage."



American Family Physician

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2019

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What causes a blighted ovum?

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