What is a Molar Pregnancy? | Symptoms and Causes (2022)

molar pregnancy

What is a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy is a rare condition that occurs when a woman develops a tumor instead of an embryo. It is caused by abnormal cell division within the placenta, which then clumps into sacs (or cysts). This type of pregnancy does not survive because the placenta cannot provide nutrients to or carry on growth with a baby. It could, however, prove potentially harmful to the mother.

A molar pregnancy is sometimes called a mole or gestational trophoblastic disease. You can have this complication in your uterus during pregnancy if you have previously experienced typical pregnancies and it does not mean that every future pregnancy will be molar. The good news — is you can have an easy and successful birth as long as you make sure to seek help as soon as you need it.

Types of molar pregnancy:

There are two different kinds of molar pregnancies. One kind has an end result that is the same as another, so they’re not better or worse than each other. Both kinds are usually benign — they won’t cause cancer.

1. Complete Molar pregnancy: A complete mole often happens when there is no fetus in the womb; only placenta tissue is growing.

2. Partial molar pregnancy: In a partial mole, there is some placenta tissue but lacking fetal tissue. This means that there will be no baby if you try to grow it into one.

What causes a molar pregnancy?

You can’t do anything to prevent this. It happens to regular people, not just those who are at risk. Sometimes, it just occurs naturally because of a mix-up in the DNA. Most women have hundreds of thousands of eggs. A few won’t make it through development but will just be eliminated by your body and discarded.

Of course, all of the eggs in a woman’s ovaries are perfect, but sometimes, an imperfect egg — one with no genetic material — happens to get fertilized by a sperm. This can end up causing a molar pregnancy. It’s the same way that an imperfect sperm or more than one may fertilize a bad egg – it can also cause a mole.

Risk factors:

Following are the risk factors for molar pregnancy:

  • Age: Molar pregnancies occur in people who are younger than 20 or older than 35.
  • History: If you have had a molar pregnancy in the past, there is a risk of it occurring again. However, it’s important to know that many women with one molar pregnancy will go on and have completely viable pregnancies. Of course, even after a successful full-term pregnancy, one might still worry that they may have another molar pregnancy down the road. This is why it is especially important to speak with your doctor if you’ve ever had these issues and let them know everything so as to ensure if this is likely or not.

What are the symptoms of a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy feels just like having a typical pregnancy at first. However, you’ll likely notice certain signs and symptoms that something is different than before.

  • Bleeding: bleeding is a sign of molar pregnancy Women will often bleed in the first three to four weeks of pregnancy (around the date their last period was due). The bleeding might look like dark red to brownish blood. This is because of blood clots, which can appear pale and grape-like.
  • High hCG with severe nausea and vomiting: The hormone hCG is responsible for giving many pregnant women certain amounts of nausea and vomiting – some more than others. In a molar pregnancy, there are usually high levels of this hormone in the body, resulting in severe nausea and vomiting.
  • Pelvic pain and pressure: Tissue inside the molar pregnancy grows too fast, especially in the second trimester. It may look like your stomach is too big for that stage of pregnancy. The fast growth of tissue can also cause pressure and pain.

molar pregnancy

A doctor will often look for additional symptoms to help determine what may be wrong with you. Some possible signs include:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • pre-eclampsia
  • high blood pressure
  • anemia (low iron)
  • ovarian cysts

Is molar pregnancy cancer?

No, a molar pregnancy is not cancer. A slow-growing tumor develops from trophoblastic cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and grow into the placenta. Molar pregnancy has many cysts (sacks of fluid) that surround a fertilized egg. It typically grows slowly and is often benign, but it may spread to nearby tissues (invasive mole). It may also become cancerous (malignant). A molar pregnancy is the most common type of gestational trophoblastic tumor. They are usually benign or mildly malignant; rarely, they become highly invasive and associated with a high risk of metastasis.

Is molar pregnancy dangerous?

If a molar pregnancy is untreated, it can be dangerous to the woman and she may suffer from a rare form of cancer. A molar pregnancy is called a gestational trophoblastic disease, a group of conditions that cause tumors to grow in the uterus.

Is molar pregnancy common?

No, it is not common. Approximately 1 out of every 1,000 pregnancies is diagnosed as a mole.

Is molar pregnancy miscarriage?

A molar pregnancy will not be able to survive for long. They usually end on their own through a miscarriage. This is the best way of course, as it’s simple and doesn’t require any intervention or expensive surgical procedures or medication afterward. If this does not happen, however, it’s usually recommended that you’re starting a company pregnancy is removed surgically at an early stage if you’re at all concerned that things might go off-track.

Is molar pregnancy the same as ectopic pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy is not the same as ectopic pregnancy, though they are similar in many ways. A molar pregnancy occurs when something goes wrong in the development of an embryo, and the embryo does not implant in the uterus. Instead, it implants in the fallopian tube, and the cells start to grow uncontrollably.  What is an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus — usually in the fallopian tube. Implanting outside the uterus means that the pregnancy cannot develop properly, and can cause serious health problems for the mother and her baby.

What are the complications of molar pregnancy?

Molar pregnancy is usually diagnosed early but if the diagnosis is delayed there can be serious complications that include:

  • breathlessness (when it spreads to the lungs)
  • pre-eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy)
  • hemorrhage
  • ovarian cysts
  • excess thyroid hormone production,
  • invasive mole
  • persistent GTD
  • metastatic mole

What are the chances of a second molar pregnancy?

1 in 80 women (1.3%) will experience molar pregnancy and must take some time off getting pregnant again after the diagnosis is made. The doctor will let them know exactly how much time they’ll need to wait before they are allowed to try again. The typical consideration is waiting 6 months since their treatment is scheduled to be completed most of the time. If a woman has been getting chemotherapy, the doctors might advise that she needs to wait up to 1 year before she tries to get pregnant again because the occurrence of having another molar pregnancy during chemotherapy can be 2%.

Can molar pregnancy have heartburn?

Alarm symptoms of hyperthyroidism in molar pregnancy. Feeling nervous or tired, having a fast or irregular heartbeat, and sweating a lot are all potential signs of this condition.

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