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Answer to your Health Question

Question (03/28 /2012):

Title: Causes of an empty gestational sac.

I saw my period last on the 11th of Jan, 2012.

Feb 18-22.Light spotting.

March 1st- I went for a scan and the Dr said he didn't see the sac.

I repeated the scan after 3weeks and the doctor says the same thing.

He ran series of tests on me saying I am pregnant but the sac is not in sight.

I don't have abdominal pains or anything of the sort.

My breasts are tender, my stomach looks slightly bloated and I am having all the signs of a normal pregnancy.

I am really confused, help me.



Dear Yvonne,

An empty gestational sac can be due to

-Blighted ovum : also known as anembryonic pregnancy.

An anembryonic pregnancy (sometimes termed a blighted ovum) is a gestational sac which develops without a fetal pole.

-Early pregnancy (intrauterine) : by 5 weeks gestational age, a yolk sac should be identifiable by transvaginal ultrasound.

An intrauterine pregnancy is a pregnancy that happens inside of the womb.

-Pseudogestational sac with an ectopic pregnancy.

A pseudogestational sac is an intrauterine anechoic sac-like structure that may be mistaken for an early viable pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity.

-Gestational trophoblastic disease : some first trimester moles may mimic a blighted ovum; correlation with beta hCG is helpful.

Gestational trophoblastic disease is a pregnancy-related condition that can occur in the uterus after conception. The term gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) actually describes a group of rare diseases that begin in the tissues that are created after conception, i.e., the joining of egg and sperm in the uterus. GTD is so named because the disease begins in the trophoblast, the layer of cells that surrounds the newly formed embryo.

Some types of gestational trophoblastic disease can develop into cancer, which is why it’s important that they be diagnosed as early as possible.

(hCG) or Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced during pregnancy.

The beta subunit of hCG, Beta HCG "the pregnancy hormone", is produced by the cells of the implanting egg and can be produced in the absence of an embryo.

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