What is anembryonic pregnancy? Can it occur twice?

Anembryonic pregnancy happens when, due to errors in the chromosomes, an embryo is not formed. This condition is characterized by the fertilization of sperm in the egg and the formation of the gestational sac, but without an embryo . The duration of this pregnancy is up to the 8th week, on average.

After that time, the woman’s body eliminates the gestational sac through a small amount of bleeding, considered as spontaneous abortion.

In a normal pregnancy, the embryo can be seen from the 6th week.

But, when doing an image exam during an anembryonic pregnancy, you cannot see the embryo inside the belly.

When this happens, it is recommended that the woman undergo further tests within a few days.

If again it is not possible to see the embryo, at an expected gestational age for embryo visualization, and an empty gestational sac that reaches 20mm, the doctor can advise:

  • Wait for the elimination of the gestational sac for expectant conduct;
  • Use of medications to open the cervix;
  • Emptying the uterus by aspiration or uterine curettage.

It is worth remembering that the procedures for emptying the uterus must be done at the hospital, with medical monitoring.


How to identify anembryonic pregnancy?

The best way to confirm an anembryonic pregnancy is by means of an image exam, ultrasound. However, some symptoms, such as fever and minor bleeding, may be indicative of this condition. For this reason, it is always important for the pregnant woman to seek an obstetrician who will be able to make evaluations and answer questions.

It is worth mentioning that the results of pregnancy tests (pharmacy and laboratory) will be positive, as they identify the condition as a normal pregnancy.

In fact, many women in this condition have the common symptoms of pregnancy : no menstruation, nausea, dizziness and pain in the pelvis.

All of this makes it difficult to detect the condition early.

Therefore, in order to have a confirmation as to whether the pregnancy has an embryo or not, it is recommended that ultrasound exams be performed from the 7th week of gestation.

This is because, if done before, the embryo, although it is healthy, may not appear because it is very small.

Can it happen twice?

-Yeah . Although it is rare, it is possible for a woman to have more than one anembryonic pregnancy.

In such cases, if the desire is to become pregnant, tests can be done to detect what are the difficulties that prevent conception.

Once the reason is discovered, treatments can be started, under medical guidance, to fight it and, thus, increase the chances of becoming pregnant.

In the vast majority of cases, after experiencing an anembryonic pregnancy, it is possible for the woman to conceive normally.

However, it is recommended to wait about 3 menstrual cycles before trying again, especially if there was uterine curettage , as the woman’s body will need to rest and recover from gestation without an embryo.

Read more: Recurrent miscarriages may be linked to poor sperm quality

Is it possible to prevent?

Because it is a mistake in the chromosomes, there is no way to prevent anembryonic pregnancy. But it is possible to reduce the risks by adopting some simple measures and precautions:

Food care

The feed should be rich in foods with vitamins of the B complex (B2, B6, B9 and B12) present in:

  • Meats (fish, liver, beef cuts);
  • Green vegetables (kale and spinach);
  • Chestnuts (from Pará, cashew, almonds, walnuts).

Fruits, vegetables, and greens should be present in the diet daily. Avoiding fats and sugars also contributes to healthy eating.

The man needs to take care of the food because it directly interferes with the quality of the sperm, which, if they are of poor quality, can die before fertilizing the egg.

Women, on the other hand, must also eat properly to keep the eggs and uterus healthy. What favors a healthy pregnancy.

Read more: Foods rich in iron: diet for pregnant women and for anemia

Exams and medical follow-up

Treating or avoiding sexually transmitted diseases ( syphilis and gonorrhea , for example) is another measure that prevents this type of pregnancy. So if you don’t intend to get pregnant, use a condom .

Doing routine exams and following medical guidelines (gynecologist and urologist) also help to prevent anembryonic pregnancy.