Does It Have To Be a Blighted Ovum?

Jane Foley's picture


Dear Ms Ultrasound,
I had a baby this past March 11th but sadly she passed away due to a diaphragmatic hernia 5 days later. I found out I was pregnant with her at 5 weeks and at 6 weeks I was told I had low progesterone and that there was a sac but no baby yet. That's when I first heard of a blighted ovum. It wasn't until three weeks later when I was 9 weeks pregnant that we were able to see the baby and heartbeat.

I am now pregnant again (2 months afer losing Mia) and I'm currently 6 weeks and 3 days. At 6 weeks 1 day I had a vaginal u/s and we saw a gestational sac but no heartbeat. The doctor started talking about a blighted ovum again. I'm very terrified that it might be true.

Here's the problem. I have always had irregular periods and had to take Provera to jump start this first cycle after giving birth to Mia. I have no idea how long my cycles usually are because they have always been out of whack! My LMP was 05/01-05/05/04. I used ovulation kits to predict when I would ovulate and I had a strong line on the OPK on 05/20/04 and a lighter one on 05/21/04 and nothing on 05/22/04. I'm assuming I conceived on 05/25/04.

Could it be that because I have always been so irregular with my periods as well as ovulating late that I may be off on my weeks of pregnancy? Am I really 6 weeks right now or maybe a week behind hence the no heartbeat on the last ultrasound?

My hcg levels keep rising as well as my progesterone levels:

  • 06/03 = hcg 22
  • 06/07 = hcg 74, progesterone 11.59
  • 06/09 = hcg 181, pro 12.2
  • 06/14 = prog 16
  • 06/16 = hcg 2374, prog 14.2
  • 06/22 = hcg 7200, prog 18

Any help you can give me would be great. I'm going nuts here and already thinking the worst. I have my next u/s appointment next Thursday 07/08/04 and I don't know if I'll make it that long!

Thank you.


Hi Zinnia,
I would assume you have already had your second ultrasound. I am sorry I haven't been able to answer any questions in the last week. I hope the results were ok. Please except my sympathy with regards to your daughter Mia. I can tell she blessed your life immensely!

Since you already have the answer to your question by now I will add some thoughts I have which may help you, whatever the outcome of the ultrasound was. Everyday I receive questions like yours, with hormone counts, ovulation dates and tests, and multiple ultrasound results. These questions have caused me to pause and think about the way medicine deals with early pregnancy.

My goal, after receiving so many "worried Mommy" questions, is to have woman try (I know it's hard) and remove themselves from the medical side of early pregnancy. Yes, it is important to be prudent, but my thoughts are to leave the counting to the doctor! The worrying may start with a first, early ultrasound. An early sac might be noted. The questions begin to arise. Is it too early to see something in the sac? Is it a blighted ovum? Is it a pseudo (fake) sac because there is a tubal pregnancy? A week of anxiety and worry are laid out in front of you while you wait for the pregnancy to progress and another ultrasound to be done. You go for another blood test. You count.

You lay awake a night worrying. "What if?"The week passes as if its a year. You go in for the ultrasound. Wow! It's normal. A heartbeat is heard. Problem -- one entire week of early development, consumed with worry.

Or you have the ultrasound and there is no development. Problem -- the only week of joy and bonding you should have been sharing with the life inside is gone.

With my own pregnancy, because of a prophetic dream I had showing me a miscarriage, I made one of the best decisions of my life. I let go of the medical side of pregnancy and enjoyed my time with my child. The time was fleeting. I knew that so I filled it with joy and love that I cherish to this day.

Zinnia I know you experienced this with Mia so you know what I mean. My hope is that you might consider some of my thoughts and that it helps you, whatever the outcome of your ultrasound was. If you have any further questions since the last ultrasound just let me know.

-- Jane, RDMS