Pregnancy Nightmare: Misdiagnosing Your Baby As A Blighted Ovum

My husband and I have been hoping to be blessed with additional children for many months now. We experienced two early miscarriages during that time, too. So while I spend the end of each month hoping that we’ll find out we’re pregnant, I’m also nervous about whether a pregnancy will make it past the first trimester.

Into this mix of anxiety, a neighbor told me about a friend of hers who almost accidentally terminated the life of her unborn son because of a false diagnosis. She was told, incorrectly, that her early pregnancy was actually something called a “blighted ovum.”

From the American Pregnancy Association:

A blighted ovum (also known as ”anembryonic pregnancy”) happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself. A blighted ovum usually occurs within the first trimester before a woman knows she is pregnant. A high level of chromosome abnormalities usually causes a woman’s body to naturally miscarry.

So my neighbor’s friend went for her first appointment with her OBGYN and was told that she had, basically, a pregnancy but no baby:

Through my tears I asked her what my options were now. She told me what I knew I was going to hear, I could take pills to expel “the pregnancy” or go under anesthesia and have it scraped out. I was hoping she would have other options but she didn’t, she only told me the longer I waited the more risk I had of developing an infection.

But while she got the prescription filled, she hesitated. Her sister and mother strongly encouraged her to wait just a bit. She ended up getting a second opinion, got an ultrasound and found out that her baby was developing. According to my neighbor, her friends have “one of the most beautiful and funny baby boys” she has seen.

You can read the friend’s story here.

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