A molar pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy that affects approximately 1 our of every 1,000 pregnancies. A molar pregnancy may also be referred to as gestational trophoblastic disease, hydatidiform mole or mole.
A molar pregnancy occurs at the time of conception when sperm fertilizes an empty egg. The pregnancy will continue to grow very quickly and an increase in the hCG hormone will be noted.
There are two types of molar pregnancy: complete and partial. In a complete molar pregnancy, only the placenta is affected because no baby was ever formed. On ultrasound, only a placenta is discovered. In a partial molar pregnancy, the placenta and embryo are both affected. However, because the abnormal cells will continue to grow rapidly, the embryo will have no chance of survival and will be overtaken.
Some women are at an increased rik for experiencing a molar pregnancy. Risk factors include:
Symptoms of a molar pregnancy include:
If you or your healthcare provider suspects a molar pregnancy, a pelvic exam and ultrasound will likely be performed. During the evaluation, a small uterus and enlarged ovaries will likely be noted. An ultrasound will reveal abnormal cells, resembling a cluster of grapes. After a molar pregnancy has been diagnosed and confirmed, your healthcare provider will likely discuss your options for treatment. Some molar pregnancies may end on their own and the pregnancy tissues will expel on their own. However, some women will require a D&C to remove the pregnancy tissue. After a molar pregnancy, your healthcare provider will probably monitor your hCG levels for approximately 6 months. It is highly recommended that women wait atleast 6 months before becoming pregnant again.
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