29 answers

What does it mean when there is a sac but no fetus?

I'm about 8 weeks pregnant and yesterday I started having really bad cramping and a little bleeding. I went to the ER and while there they did an ultrasound and found that I have a sac that messures at 6 weeks 2 days but there was not embro or anything inside. The tech. said that the embro never developed. The ER doctor said that it could be that or that I miscarried. My question is, has anyone else had this? and what was your experiance?

What can I do next?

Summary

Sounds like a blighted ovum. Basically the egg was fertilized and attached but at some point your body realized that it was not viable and it stopped developing and your body absorbed it. But the sac and placenta continued to grow which creates the pregnancy hormones making feel pregnant. If you experience that, check with your doctor.

So What Happened?™

I would like to say thank you for your thoughts and prayers and for sharing your experiences. I went in to see the doctor today and had some blood tests and I have another ultrasound set up for Thursday morning. She said that maybe it was just to early to really see anything or it could be that it never developed and may be miscarring the sac. But the blood tests should help a lot between now and Thursday. I'll keep everyone informed
Thanks Again

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Yes, I have experienced this more than once. It is usually just one of those things and you have my sympathies. Any pregnancy loss is still a loss, regardless of how far along. If you experience another, I would recommend testing just for peace of mind and to receive treatment in the event that there is something to be concerned about. All total, I experience 6 miscarriages but now have 4 children, ages 14, 10, 7 and 4. Good luck.

My heart goes out to you. This happened to me and they called it a blighted ovum I was 9 weeks. At the time this was very difficult to deal with. I told myself, everything happens for a reason. And I did go on to have 2 more beautiful babies.

Hang in there.
A.Schmidt

My heart totally goes out to you in this very difficult time. ER docs and interns can at times be a little less than sensitive when they break the news to you. What you are describing happened to me twice at 8 weeks after I had already given birth to 2 terrific kiddos. Once I expelled the sac on my own, and the 2nd time I retained part of it and had to have a DNC. Long story of involved tests, etc... next pregnancy I worried all through the first trimester (ultrasounds every 4 weeks), and everything developed fine.

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Hey A., i feel you, i went to the ob/gyn for my appt yesterday and that was my result am supposed to be @ 7 weeks, and in the ultrasound it showed nothing in the sac, i miscarried last yr around this tyme and had a d and c done, i had to do blood work yesterday and on friday, my next appt is next week thursday, am praying that it wwas just tooo early to tell because i dont know or even think i can go through another miscarriage and i dont think my husband and family could either!!! Am sorry you had to go through that hang tough though and try again when ur ready!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello A.,

I had something similar happen to me. I went in to the ER and they told me pretty much the same thing. They called it a Blighted Ovum. After my DNC, I found out that I had what is called a Molar Pregnancy. The egg was fertilized and once the fetus began to form there are cells in our bodies that act kinda like cancer cells, they attach to the fetus and form a tumor. Eventually taking over and thriving on the yolk sac. I had to wait one year after the DNC to even think about getting pregnant again, because the cells could come back a cause a second Molar Pregnancy. I also had to go and have my blood drawn every three months to test for HCG, to make sure they (the cells) had not returned all on there own. I am so sorry for your loss. I am on my fourth pregnancy with only one son to show for it (he is a great little guy, and I am blessed to have him). I have now been told there is something wrong with the baby I am carrying. I am 14 weeks pregnant and I will start seeing a specialist in the middle of the month. God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

First, I am sorry. Yes, we experienced a similar case. Our first pregnancy back in 2005 via u/s (around 8 weeks) was found to be a blighted ovum. Sounds the same as in your case. The sac was present, but no embryo developing. I was in shock and heartbroken especially when your body goes thru all the indications of being pregnant, but then when they look via u/s, nothing is growing. Doen't seem fair, huh? It's still considered a miscarriage and needed follow through (please discuss with your doc the best option, because the route we went (letting it pass with a pill insert) was oh so physically painful in the worst possible way; I do not wish this upon anyone. A D&C should have been the route we went, but we opted out, live and learn I guess). We too were told that the embryo basically stopped developing due to something abnormal in the development; which now I can look back and say that if something was indeed terribly wrong with the fetus, than it wasn't meant to be. Granted, took a while for me to overcome my emotions, yet in the end, approx. 6 or so months later we became pregnant again and now have a healthy 17 month old son. Even with this pregnancy, it took nearly 3 ultrasounds for me to believe we were truly pregnant this time. It was indeed a process and well, a process that only made me stronger and accept the good and well, not so good in my life and reflect and learn from every and all experience. We are now trying for number two, so wish us luck! My best to you and your family, do take care of you!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello A.,
I had the same experience. I did not have cramping but I had a little bleeding. I went to the ER and the ultrasound said I was a little over 5 weeks pregnant. There was a sac but nothing growing inside. After 10 hours at the ER the doctor told me I was going to miscarry in the next few days. I went to my regular doctor 2 days later and she said it was too soon to determine that and told me to come back in a month. After a month of agonizing I went in and there was my baby on the ultrasound. He is now 4 month old. I am not trying to get your hopes up but I would get a second opinion from your regular OB. I sure hope that it all turns out ok for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
I'm so sorry. My sister-in-law had the same thing happen. She had to have a D & C. She ended up getting pregnant again and now has a year old baby boy. It happens more often than I thought. Take care of yourself.
Sincerely,
L.

with my last pregnancy I started having bad cramping and a little bleeding around 9 weeks but the ultrasound said everything was fine. It kept happening for another 3 weeks. Then on another ultrasound they found another sac that had a large clot in it. They told me that the twin had died and my body was absorbing it. They left it alone and we just hoped that when the sac passed that it wouldn't take the healthy baby with it. everything turned out fine and now I have a healthy baby girl.

I personally did not go through this but a woman at work did. She had ALL of the symptoms including the morning sickness. But they did an ultrasound and there was NO baby. She ended up having a D&C.

not completely the same but will say when i got pregnant with my son the doctor told me at first my test was negative after taking two test at home and they were positive...we didnt know how far along i was so he sent me to an ultrasound. when i got there the tech said there was a sac and no embryo. i was kind of shocked and upset, she said it was not so common but it happens enough to know it isnt 1 in a million chance either. my doctor decided to send me back one more time and apparenly i was so barely pregnant the egg didnt have time to grow.

i know this might not help much but i know it does happen. have you spokjen to your doctor yet? if i had to guess you probably miscarried if you were bleeding but i am not an expert. maybe it is the smae thing as me where i was so barely pregnant it hadnt had time to develop. but i am guess the ER people ran another pregnancy test, not sure if it would register yes even if there was a misscarriage and how long it takes for the hormones to come out of your system. so did they do a D n C? i know kind of personal just concerned if you did miscarry they want to make sure everything comes out to not cause toximia and prevent you from having more children in the future.

i hope all goes well.

i just want to say i am sorry. i have also had a miscarriage and know how painful emotionally it is. hugs to you. i am now holding my sleeping baby that has come since then.....hang in there....

Sounds like it could be a blighted ovium.The same happened to me I had heavy bleeding,we did an u/s that showed sac but no fetus.So my dr. told me to take it easy and to return for another u/s at 10 weeks,and thank heavens they found a heartbeat and my now 3 year old is as healthy as can be ! My advise would be to stay off your feet & request another u/s in a couple of weeks to know for sure.Best wishes to you & your family

Yes, I have experienced this more than once. It is usually just one of those things and you have my sympathies. Any pregnancy loss is still a loss, regardless of how far along. If you experience another, I would recommend testing just for peace of mind and to receive treatment in the event that there is something to be concerned about. All total, I experience 6 miscarriages but now have 4 children, ages 14, 10, 7 and 4. Good luck.

I am so sorry,something similar happened to me. I was 8 weeks when I went in (the day before Thanksgiving) and everything great, we saw the heartbeat and everything. Then 2 weeks later I went for my next appointment and the could not detect a heartbeat on the baby. I then miscarried 2 weeks later.

I would recommend waiting a few weeks and then seeing your doctor and ask for a formal ultrasound. The reason I say this is because with my 2nd child they told me this but it was actually too early and with my third child the doctor (different) told me I wasn't pregnant and that I didn't have an uterus. So I recommend waiting a few weeks until you are further along and would definately expect to see the baby.

Sounds like a blighted ovum. Basically the egg was fertilized and attached but at some point your body realized that it was not viable and it stopped developing and your body absorbed it. But the sac and placenta continued to grow which creates the pregnancy hormones making feel pregnant.

I had the same thing back in April...I should have been about 9 weeks and the sac measured just over 6 weeks. I went back a week later to confirm and it was the same. I had a D&C with in a week. I could have waited to miscarry naturally but it could have taken weeks and I couldn't wait that long.

Sorry this is happening to you. I understand it is fairly common. But it shouldn't happen again, it's supposed to be a fluke. So I hope as I am trying again to get pregnant.

It's worth waiting another week or so to see what's going on. It's probably one of 2 things... the Blighted Ovum like everyone has said... and you generally naturally expel that... and it's messy... or they can't see anything yet. I've had both situations.

With my very first "known" pregnancy I tested PG with very low numbers... and my Dr. told me to expect that it wouldn't last unless the numbers started doubling at mock I

With my 2nd PG, I had 1 sac with a heart beat... and another sac... empty. that was at 8 weeks... This was a fertility treatment... 2 embryos had been put in... apparently only one was taking. Imagine my suprise 2 weeks later when I had 2 heart beats...

I don't want to get your hopes up... Sometimes the baby doesn't show itself... but unfortunately... other times, it's truly not forming properly and disolves.

I wish you the best... Take it easy... my prayers are with you...

My heart goes out to you. This happened to me and they called it a blighted ovum I was 9 weeks. At the time this was very difficult to deal with. I told myself, everything happens for a reason. And I did go on to have 2 more beautiful babies.

Hang in there.
A.Schmidt

My heart totally goes out to you in this very difficult time. ER docs and interns can at times be a little less than sensitive when they break the news to you. What you are describing happened to me twice at 8 weeks after I had already given birth to 2 terrific kiddos. Once I expelled the sac on my own, and the 2nd time I retained part of it and had to have a DNC. Long story of involved tests, etc... next pregnancy I worried all through the first trimester (ultrasounds every 4 weeks), and everything developed fine.

Hi A.,

I was so sorry to read your story. The same thing happened to me. We were married for 1 month when we found out I was pregnant, and we were SO happy. Then after a few weeks I started to loose some blood, and we found out at our ultrasound that the sac that was in my body was empty. The emrbyo never developed, and the weekend after I got the horrible news I had the actual miscarriage: lots of bleeding, and I had to stay in bed. We were so sad and scared that this would mean we could not have children. We were blessed though, and had 3 healthy children after this happened: a boy and two girls. We are even hoping for more children....
I am so sorry this happened to you. I know what you are feeling. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone in this, and you CAN get pregnant again.

Lots of hugs from me, and I hope you will be OK.

E..

I went through the same thing. I started bleeding around six weeks so I went in to my ob. She did an ultrasound and there was no baby. My ob decided to give it a week to see if my body would miscarry naturally. She would have me get blood tests every other day to check my hormone levels. They kept raising so I had to have a DNC. The pregnancy was called a blighted ovum. I ended up getting pregnant about 4 months later and had a beautiful and healthy baby boy!

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Be sure to see your regular OB for advice. They may run serial blood tests to check for declining pregnancy hormone levels to confirm no pregnancy/miscarriage. I too had some bleeding and then no baby at 6 wks. The pregnancy just didn't "take". I wound up bleeding heavier (like a period) and miscarrying. Luckily I did not need a D&C. Doctors usually recommend 3 mo. for your body to recover before trying to become pregnant again. My periods were strange for 3 mo. afterwards. I tried anyway to get pregnant during that 3 months and it didn't work. Body just wasn't ready. At 4 mo. my period returned to normal and I got pregnant again (due in Nov.!)It's acutally a very common occurance, unfortunately it's little consolation to those who experience it. However, it does not mean it will happen again so when you are ready - try again. Good luck!

A.,
I am so sorry you are going through this. The same thing happened to me after my first child. I went to an 8 week ultrasound and there was the sac but no baby, the Dr. thought I was wrong about how far along I was, but I knew I was right. We waited about a week or two and I went back. The sac was a little bigger but no baby. The Dr. said I should have a D&C (I really didn't want it because it felt like an abortion, but he thought waiting to expell could be bad for me). I did the D&C and everything went well. I had two more perfect babies and then last year got pregnant and started bleeding at about 9 weeks, I decided this time that I knew my body better and went through the miscarriage on my own. The mental part of it was maybe not the best, but physically I was glad I didn't have them go in there and it all turned out well.

Apparently this is more common than you think when it is happening to you. I'll keep you in my prayers.

K.

My sister had an empty sac pregnancy, which ended in miscarriage of the sac early in the pregnancy. She went on to have another child after this occurred. Ours thoughts and prayers are with you. A D&C may be needed if you do not expel the sac, then a pathology report is done to make certain the cells are normal.

Hi A.. I did have this happen to me about 9 years ago. I did not find out until almost 12 weeks which is fairly unusual. I went in for a regular ob and at the point when they should have been able to hear the heartbeat, there was none. I had an ultrasound and the doctor said that the embryo had failed to develop. She suggested a d&c and I asked to wait and see if it would happen naturally. It did a few days later and I really wished that I had gone ahead with the d&c. I ended up having to get that done anyway. Did your doctor suggest a d&c? I am sorry that you have to go through this.
L.

Dear A.,

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. The same thing happened to me at 8 weeks and I was so devastated. It had taken me 6 years to become pregnant and then only with infertility hormones. My infertility doctor said the exact same thing as yours and said that I will either pass the sac on my own or have to have a D&C. Let me tell you, I should have had the D&C as soon as I found out. I tried to let it pass naturally and the cramps were excrutiating. I had to go in for an emergency D&C about 2 weeks after I found out. My suggestion is to consult with your physician and then make the decision based on how you feel about it. I wish you the best of luck and in case you are wondering, I adobted a beautiful baby 3 1/2 years ago and couldn't be happier.

My son & daughter-in-law had this experience last September. Pregnant, excited, morning sickness, one ultrasound that showed the fetus, then the next showing it was gone. Her doctor said her body had reabsorbed the fetus. This was her first pregnancy after surgery to remove some cysts. Heartbreaking for everyone, but gave them hope that they could indeed get pregnant.

They are now pregnant with a much-awaited, already adored baby boy due in early October.

Give yourself time to recover, physically and emotionally. It will happen for you.

I am sorry to hear about your loss. I don't know if this is your first pregnancy or not, but the same thing happened to me 22 years ago with my first pregnancy. It was a blighted ovum. It is very common and not an indication of future problems. I went on to have 3 very healthy pregnancies! They didn't do a D&C, as I expelled the sac completely on my own. The Dr. had me bring in what I could to make sure. I wish you the best with your future pregnancies.

I was four months pregnant, I started bleeding after having some contractions in January of 08'. After the horror of the realization I was having a miscarriage, I climbed in my bathtub and cried and eventually passed 3 cups of blood, a sac, cord, placenta but no baby. There was absolutley no baby that came out of me. I had looked at everything that passed then I had frozen what came out of me in the case that I needed to go to the doctor.
A few days later when I was somewhat over the shock I wondered if I had just overlooked my baby. I could not stand the thought of my baby just being thrown away or much less in my freezer. So I carefully thawed the contents of the bag and rinsed it well to just make sure there was no baby. Just as I suspected there was absolutely NO baby. I am still somewhat puzzled my body seems to be "back to normal" and I probably will never truly know what happened but I was pregnant with no baby.
I did read however that the ultrasounds are not always right and that many women have had a DNC because no baby was found and then they discovered the baby that they could not see through the ultrasounds after the 'abortion' was performed. My advice is wait until you are about 4 mos along before you let them do anything to you that may jepardize a "hidden" baby.

I also experienced this. I was about "12"weeks along, i had an ultra sound, routine, and they said that there was the 2 sacs, no empbryo,. So they did a D/C. You could go naturally and let your body miscarry, but until it did, your body would still "be pregnant" and have all the same affects, so i decided, to have the D/C. I became pregnant 4 months later and went full term and had a beautiful 9lb 13oz baby girl 16 months ago.
I am sorry this has happened to you. But I wish you luck.

Hi A.,
22 years ago my first pregnancy ended as a "spontaneous abortion". That's what the doctor called it. I was about 4 weeks along and then started to spot a little. That night I went to the bathroom and passed a huge clot...
I was so upset and of coures my imagination went wild thinking of all the things I could have "done" wrong. The doctor said that 40% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. He said that is the body's way of terminating a pregnancy that isn't going well. He said that there are so many things that can go wrong and the embyro then stops growing and many times is absorbed back into the womans body and she never knows about it. Now, that was his explaination but it made sense to me.
The next bit of advise was to mark to calendar 4 weeks off and then go about my life and NOT count days. So, don't put too much attention on this and believe everyting will be great next time around.
A.

Yes, I'm going through it right now and I'm 13 weeks. I've had two ultrasounds and they both have the same result. They say they dont know what happen and they can't understand why my levels are at 13 weeks and theres no baby. This will be my 3rd miscarriage and none of them were like this. I at least passed tissue with this one nothing. I also want to add I'm sorry you had to go through this. I hope that you try again later when your ready children are truly a blessing. :)

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