Molar Pregnancy (hydatidiform mole or gestational trophoblastic neoplasia)
October 19, 2011
A molar pregnancy, or hydatidiform mole, or gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, is a rare condition of pregnancy in which a tissue mass, like an abnormal placenta, develops instead of a growing baby.
The risk of a molar pregnancy is higher in woman over the age of 40 years.
A molar pregnancy can be the result of chromosome problems in the sperm, egg, or embryo.
There are two types of molar pregnancy: partial molar pregnancy and complete molar pregnancy. In a partial molar pregnancy, the embryo is abnormally formed, and generally will not survive. In a complete molar pregnancy, the uterus has a cluster of fluid filled pouches instead of an embryo.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Molar Pregnancy?
Molar pregnancy will generally cause bleeding before the 12th week of pregnancy. Also, in the case of a molar pregnancy, the uterus often expands more than usual. Often hCG hormone levels will be higher than normal when a molar pregnancy is present.
How is a Molar Pregnancy Diagnosed?
Your health care provider may check your hCG levels, listen for a fetal heartbeat, and perform and ultrasound.
How is a Molar Pregnancy Treated?
A molar pregnancy is generally treated by removing it with a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure.
Following a molar pregnancy, it is advised that you wait at least one year before attempting to become pregnant again.
Are there Complications from a Molar Pregnancy?
After a molar pregnancy, it is important to make sure that all the tissue has been successfully removed from the uterus. After a molar pregnancy, women are at risk of developing a type of malignant tumor in the uterus.
The development of a tumor is very rare, and the success rate of treating the tumors is close to 100 percent with the use of chemotherapy.
For this reason, your doctor will monitor you regularly after the D&C procedure, checking your hCG levels, which helps to detect any abnormal growth.