Is This a Blighted Ovum?

Jane Foley's picture


Dear Jane,

I am currently 7 weeks, 3 days pregnant. My HCG levels have been doubling every 40 hours. The levels were 172, 1494, 10,301.

I underwent IUI and became pregnant during my first cycle.

At my 5 week and 7 week ultrasounds, there was only a gestational sac visible, measuring 5 mm and 6.6 mm, respectively. My doctor said does not look good and will probably miscarry. I should also mention I have a tilted uterus. I am not really having any cramping or bleeding.

So my questions are:
• Have you ever seen sacs this small that ended up as a viable pregnancy?
• Can a tilted uterus cause inaccurate measurements?



There is no way to determine if a 5-week ultrasound is a blighted ovum. A second ultrasound is almost always necessary to make the diagnosis of a blighted ovum.

In your case, you had the first ultrasound, which confirmed pregnancy and a gestational sac. The second ultrasound done two weeks later would show a fetal pole with a heart beat if the pregnancy had developed normally. Since after two weeks there was no growth and there is an empty gestational sac, the diagnosis of a blighted ovum can be made.

Your doctor is correct in saying it does not look good for this pregnancy.

A tilted uterus has no effect on any measurements.

With regards,


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