The clear egg in questions

The clear egg in questions

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The pregnancy test was positive, the signs present ... and yet, at the first ultrasound, we discover a "clear" (empty) egg. There is no pregnancy. What happened ? What consequences and treatment? We take stock.

What is a clear egg?

Diagnosed at the beginning of pregnancy, the clear egg designates an "empty" egg. The meeting was between the egg and the spermatozoon, but the cell divisions did not occur and there is no embryo. Explanations:

  • For pregnancy to occur, the egg that travels into the fallopian tube is fertilized by a spermatozoon. The egg is formed. It divides each time to form an embryo, which will then insert and implant in the uterus.
  • The clear egg or white egg is a well-formed egg after fertilization of the egg by a spermatozoon, it is well implanted in the uterus, but cell divisions have not occurred. There is no embryo.

What are the causes ?

  • Cell division has stalled at one stage. The growth and development of the embryo stopped, but the gestational sac continued to develop.
  • The causes of this development stop are still poorly known. In two-thirds of cases, a chromosomal abnormality is involved.
  • Today, scientists also point fingers heavy metal poisoning (lead for example), responsible for the malformations of the spermatozoa that come to fertilize the egg. The egg produced by this fertilization is not viable.
  • At the origin of the clear egg, there are also hormonal causes, immune or abnormalities in the structure of the placenta.

How do you recognize a clear egg?

  • The clinical signs of pregnancy being present, a clear egg usually goes unnoticed before the first ultrasound performed between the 9th and the 11th week of pregnancy. This is the only way to detect it.
  • On the ultrasound, a normal egg is presented as a bag (we speak of ovular bag or gestational sac), it contains the embryo, which appears as a stain. The egg is alive and one can record the cardiac activity.
  • A clear egg is an empty egg. The gestational sac is about 2 cm long, but there is nothing in it. There is no cardiac activity either.

Which exams?

  • Generally, a second ultrasound is performed between the 5th and 10th day after the first to confirm the existence of a clear egg.
  • Why a second ultrasound? Because it is possible that the age of pregnancy was miscalculated and the ultrasound performed too early. In this case, the egg is still too small and appears as a clear egg on ultrasound.
  • If the gynecologist still has doubts after this second check, he will prescribe dosages of the hormone beta hCG. Normally, the rate of this hormone rises very quickly in early pregnancy, then gradually throughout the course of pregnancy. If its rate does not change or decrease in the second dose, it is because the pregnancy has stopped. This dosage will only support the diagnosis of a clear egg, but the results are often later.

Clear egg, what treatment?

  • If it is indeed a clear egg, it will expel spontaneously and naturally, giving rise to an early miscarriage.
  • A third ultrasound will confirm that the uterine cavity is empty and that the egg is gone completely. Otherwise, a surgical procedure (aspiration or curettage under general anesthesia) will allow it to be completely expelled (an incomplete evacuation is at the origin of an abundant bleeding). It essentially depends on the stage of pregnancy. Indications are that contractions are sometimes triggered with medication when the egg is slow to expel itself.

A clear egg, and after?

  • A clear egg is usually not serious, but of course, as for any miscarriage, the psychological side should not be underestimated, it is normal to experience an episode of depression or depression after having a clear egg. If needed, you will be referred to a psychologist to help you overcome the psychological effects of miscarriage and get on track.
  • Rest assured, the clear egg does not prevent normal subsequent pregnancies. It induces no gynecological or obstetrical sequelae in subsequent pregnancies and recurrences are rare. However, it is advisable to wait 2 to 3 cycles before planning a next pregnancy.



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