The Causes of Anembryonic Pregnancies

Anembryonic pregnancies are rare events that can produce great discomfort in those who suffer from them. The causes of this phenomenon are usually chromosomal alterations, so they'e difficult to avoid.
The Causes of Anembryonic Pregnancies

Last update: 25 February, 2022

You may ask yourself, “Am I the only one?” or “Why did this happen to me?” We women who’ve had anembryonic pregnancies repeat the same question over and over again. Have you experienced one? Learn about the causes of anembryonic pregnancies.

When we hear about anembryonic pregnancies, the first thing we want to know is the reasons why there are pregnancies without an embryo, i.e. without a baby. Currently, at least 50% of women become pregnant because of a chromosomal error.

The main cause of the baby not being able to grow in the gestational sac is certainly due to an egg that isn’t in optimal conditions to receive the sperm.

It’s been proven that most miscarriages or emergency curettages are due to an anembryonic pregnancy. But how can we avoid it?

It’s difficult to avoid an anembryonic pregnancy when pregnancies aren’t planned. However, in the opposite case, with the help of a specialist, the possibilities are considerably reduced, as doctors can rule out in the future parents some kind of problem related to the thyroid and pancreas.

One of the typical questions we can ask ourselves is: How can there be a positive pregnancy test if there’s no baby? Even though the development of the embryo has stopped for the reasons mentioned above, the placenta and the gestational sac continue to develop with the difference that its interior is empty.

It’s important to keep in mind that the placenta is what determines the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, that is, the factor that proves that we are indeed pregnant.

The diagnosis of anembryonic pregnancies

A doctor looking at a patient's chart.

Our body has changed, we take a pregnancy test, the result is positive, we’re approximately 7 weeks pregnant. What a surprise! And then comes the happiness.

Our instinct is to go immediately to the doctor, we want to know that everything is going well and in turn, begin regular check-ups. But the specialist doesn’t have good news, with 7 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus should already be visualized inside the gestational sac. It’s not there? Then you may end up with a diagnosis of “a pregnancy without embryo”.

However, many specialists prefer to wait at least one more week to give a definitive diagnosis, because in many cases, the embryo can be seen after week 7 when you should even hear the heartbeat.

Many women can wait a long time and nothing happens, but in others, unfortunate symptoms such as miscarriage usually appear little by little.

What are the symptoms?

A women that's in her first trimester of pregnancy standing on the beach.
  • Abdominal cramps of greater and lesser intensity.
  • Missed period for a long time and then a small amount of vaginal bleeding.
  • Intense abdominal pain.

If you experience these symptoms, you need to perform a voluntary abortion through medication to expel the remains of the gestational sac. If there’s any type of complication with this method, you’ll need to resort to uterine curettage which consists of surgically removing the remaining parts inside the uterus. This is to avoid any type of infection.

It’s natural to feel anguish as a result of everything that comes with having had an early anembryonic pregnancy. However, there’s no need to worry about getting pregnant again, as this type of pregnancy usually happens only once in the same woman.

When there are repeated miscarriages with the same cause, a thorough medical checkup for both the woman and her partner will be necessary. The idea is to determine any genetic problem or chronic diseases and conditions.

Conceiving after an anembryonic pregnancy

You can conceive again as long as the specialist determines that your body is ready. After that, you should wait for menstruation to normalize the first two months after curettage or induced expulsion, and from that moment, you can plan another pregnancy.

The important thing about having had an anembryonic pregnancy is to recognize that it’s a natural problem where the embryo wasn’t able to have life.

We know that it’s inevitable to feel sadness and grief thinking that you’ve lost a baby. However, anembryonic pregnancies aren’t exactly pregnancies to begin with, as there was simply no life inside the gestational sac.

We must learn that what happened is just a step that had to be overcome to now be able to create a healthy family conceived in perfect health. Don’t let a process like this tarnish your dream of being a mother.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.