A blighted ovum can be detected on an ultrasound, and usually means that a high level of chromosome abnormalities caused your body to naturally miscarry.
This usually happens in the first trimester of pregnancy and sometimes the woman doesn't even know she was pregnant. She simply thinks she missed a period or two, and then things start again. The body will often simply flush the uterine lining as it normally does during a period, maybe with the period a bit heavier than usual.
It might take the body 3 to 4 weeks after ultrasound detection to get back around into its normal cycle and pass out the unneeded lining, and start creating a new lining for the next egg.
What Causes a Blighted Ovum?
As said above, the body naturally does not try to carry a fetus that has abnormal chromosomes - it realizes that the resulting fetus would not develop into a normal, healthy baby. Every egg and sperm has a random chance of being healthy or unhealthy. When the parents are young, these chances are low ... but as the parents age, there are higher and higher chances that the egg and sperm are damaged, and therefore that the resulting egg will not be a healthy one.
By the time the couples reach 40 years old, a full quarter of all embryos created will have genetic abnormalities and could be rejected by the body. This is part of why doctors recommend to couples that they plan their childbearing with this knowledge. A couple that is older and trying for a child will need to account for the extra time required to "get it right".
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