Molar Pregnancy: Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

Molar Pregnancy

What You Should Know About Molar Pregnancy?

After an egg is fertilized and burrows into the womb, pregnancy occurs. However, these sensitive starting stages can get muddled up at times. When this happens, a pregnancy may not progress as planned — which can be distressing, even if no one is to blame.

When the placenta does not form normally, it is called a molar pregnancy. Instead, a tumor develops in the uterus, causing the placenta to swell into a collection of fluid-filled sacs known as cysts. A molar pregnancy affects about one in every 1,000 pregnancies (0.1%).

This type of pregnancy usually does not endure since the placenta is unable to nourish or grow a baby. It may also put mom’s health at danger in rare circumstances.

A mole pregnancy, also known as a hydatidiform mole or gestational trophoblastic illness, is a type of molar pregnancy. This pregnancy problem can occur even if you have previously had a normal pregnancy. The good news is that following a molar pregnancy, you can have a perfectly normal and successful pregnancy.


Complete vs. partial molar pregnancy

A molar pregnancy can be divided into two types. Both produce the same effect, hence neither is superior to the other. Both types are benign, meaning they don’t cause cancer.

When solely placenta tissue grows in the womb, it’s called a full mole. There isn’t even a hint of a fetus.

There is placental tissue and some fetal tissue in a partial mole. However, the fetal tissue is insufficient and will not develop into a baby.

What causes a molar pregnancy?

You have no influence over whether you get a molar pregnancy or not. It’s not due to anything you’ve done. Women of different colours, ages, and origins can experience a molar pregnancy.

It happens occasionally as a result of a genetic — DNA — mix-up. Hundreds of thousands of eggs are carried by the majority of women. It’s possible that some of these will not form properly. They’re frequently absorbed by the body and rendered useless.

However, every now and again, a defective (empty) egg is fertilized by a sperm. It inherits the father’s genes but none from the mother. A molar pregnancy can result as a result of this.

Similarly, a defective sperm — or several sperm — can fertilize a healthy egg. This can potentially result in the formation of a mole.

Risk factors

A molar pregnancy is associated with a number of risk factors. These are some of them:

  • Age. You’re more likely to have a molar pregnancy if you’re younger than 20 or older than 35 years old, however it can happen to anyone.
  • History. You’re more likely to have another molar pregnancy if you’ve had one before. (However, you could still have a successful pregnancy.)

What are the symptoms of a molar pregnancy?

At first, a molar pregnancy may appear to be exactly like any other pregnancy. However, you’ll probably notice some signs and symptoms that something isn’t quite right.

  • Bleeding. In the first trimester, you may have bright crimson to dark brown bleeding (up to 13 weeks). If you have a complete molar pregnancy, this is more likely. Grape-like cysts could be present in the bleeding (tissue clots).
  • Severe nausea and vomiting due to a high hCG level. The placenta produces the hormone hCG. It is to blame for the nausea and vomiting that many pregnant women experience. There may be more placenta tissue than usual in a molar pregnancy. Increased hCG levels may cause severe nausea and vomiting.
  • Pelvic pressure and pain. Tissues grow quicker than they should in a molar pregnancy, especially in the second trimester. Your stomach may appear to be too huge for such a young stage of pregnancy. Pressure and pain can be caused by rapid growth.

Other indicators that your doctor may detect include:

  • blood pressure that is too high
  • anemia is a condition in which a person have (low iron)
  • pre-eclampsia
  • cysts in the ovary
  • hyperthyroidism

How is a molar pregnancy diagnosed?

When you go for your routine prenatal ultrasound screening, it’s possible that you’ll be diagnosed with a molar pregnancy. If you have symptoms that could be caused by a molar pregnancy, your doctor may order blood tests and scans.

A grape-like cluster of blood vessels and tissue can be seen on a pelvic ultrasound in a molar pregnancy. Other imaging tests, such as MRI and CT scans, may be recommended by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

High hCG levels in the blood can also indicate a molar pregnancy. However, some molar pregnancies do not induce high hCG levels, and high hCG can also be caused by other types of pregnancies, such as carrying twins. To put it another way, your doctor will not diagnose a molar pregnancy solely only on hCG levels.


What are the treatment options for a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy will not develop into a healthy pregnancy. To avoid complications, you must receive therapy. After the first delights of a positive pregnancy test, this can be extremely difficult news to accept.

You can have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby with the appropriate therapy.

One or more of the following treatments may be used to help you:

Curettage and dilation (D&C)

Your doctor will perform a D&C to remove the molar pregnancy by dilation of the opening to your womb (cervix) and removal of the dangerous tissue with a medical suction.

Before you have this operation, you will be sleeping or have local numbing. Although a D&C is sometimes performed as an outpatient treatment in a doctor’s office for other problems, it is usually performed as an inpatient surgery in a hospital for a molar pregnancy.

Medications used in chemotherapy

If your molar pregnancy is considered high-risk, either because of the possibility of cancer or because you have had difficulties accessing proper care for whatever reason, you may need chemotherapy following your D&C. If your hCG levels do not decrease over time, this is more likely.


A hysterectomy is a procedure in which the entire womb is removed. This is an option to consider if you don’t want to get pregnant again.

This treatment will be performed while you are completely sleeping. A hysterectomy is rarely used to treat a molar pregnancy.


If your blood type is Rh-negative, you’ll be prescribed RhoGAM as part of your treatment. This eliminates some of the risks associated with the development of antibodies. If you have the blood types A-, O-, B-, or AB-, be sure to tell your doctor.



You’ll need extra blood testing and monitoring after your molar pregnancy is removed. It’s critical to ensure that no molar tissue was left behind in the womb.

Molar tissue can regenerate and cause certain types of malignancies in rare circumstances. For up to a year after treatment, your doctor will monitor your hCG levels and perform scans.

Treatment at a later stage

Molar pregnancy-related malignancies are uncommon. Most are also extremely curable, with a 90 percent survival rateTrusted Source. Some tumours may necessitate chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The prognosis for a molar pregnancy

If you suspect you’re pregnant, consult your doctor as soon as possible. The greatest method to avoid difficulties from a molar pregnancy, like many other things, is to get detected and treated as soon as possible.

All follow-up appointments should be made with your doctor after treatment.

It’s advisable to avoid getting pregnant for at least a year after treatment. This is due to the fact that pregnancy might obscure any rare but serious issues that may arise with a molar pregnancy. However, speak with your doctor; your case, like you, is unique.

It’ll probably be safe for you to get pregnant and have a baby after you’re entirely clear.

Also keep in mind that tumours and complications related to molar pregnancies are quite uncommon. Prior molar pregnancies or other risk factors for developing the linked malignant tumours, according to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, should not be considered when planning a family.

The food that was delivered

Molar pregnancies are uncommon, although they can occur in women of all ages and from all walks of life. A molar pregnancy can be an emotionally and physically exhausting ordeal.

Your emotional, mental, and physical health may suffer as a result of the treatment and waiting period. It’s critical to allow yourself to grieve in a healthy way after any kind of pregnancy loss.

Inquire about support groups with your doctor. Make contact with other women who have experienced a molar pregnancy. Therapy and counselling might assist you in planning for a healthy pregnancy and infant in the near future.



A molar pregnancy, also known as hydatidiform mole, is an uncommon pregnancy problem marked by aberrant trophoblast development, the cells that normally develop into the placenta.

Complete molar pregnancy and partial molar pregnancy are the two forms of molar pregnancy. The placental tissue is aberrant and enlarged in a full molar pregnancy, and fluid-filled cysts emerge. There is also no foetal tissue formation. Normal placental tissue may coexist with improperly developing placental tissue in a partial molar pregnancy. The creation of a foetus is also possible, but the foetus is unable to survive and is frequently miscarried early in the pregnancy.

A molar pregnancy can lead to serious consequences, including a rare form of cancer, and should be treated as soon as possible.

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  • The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is a book written by the Mayo Clinic.


A molar pregnancy may appear to be normal at first, however, most molar pregnancies have unique signs and symptoms, such as:

  • During the first trimester, vaginal bleeding ranges from dark brown to brilliant red.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and severe nausea and vomiting
  • Grapelike cysts can sometimes pass through the vaginal channel.
  • Pelvic discomfort or pressure

If you observe any signs or symptoms of a molar pregnancy, consult your doctor or pregnancy care provider. He or she may also notice the following signs of molar pregnancy:

  • Rapid uterine growth — the uterus has grown to a size that is inappropriate for the stage of pregnancy.
  • Blood pressure that is too high
  • After 20 weeks of pregnancy, preeclampsia develops, resulting in high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid hyperactivity (hyperthyroidism)


An improperly fertilised egg causes a molar pregnancy. Human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes by default. Each pair has one chromosome from the father and one from the mother.

In a complete molar pregnancy, an empty egg is fertilized by one or two sperm, and the father provides all of the genetic material. The mother’s chromosomes are destroyed or inactivated in this situation, while the fathers are replicated.

In a partial or incomplete molar pregnancy, the mother’s chromosomes are maintained, but the father delivers two sets of chromosomes. As a result, the embryo has 69 chromosomes rather than 46. An extra copy of the father’s genetic material is produced when two sperm fertilize an egg.

Factors that are at risk

A molar pregnancy affects about one out of every 1,000 pregnancies. Molar pregnancy is linked to a number of factors, including:

  • Age of the mother. Molar pregnancies are more common in women over the age of 35 and in those under the age of 20.
  • Pregnancy with molars in the past – You’re more likely to have another molar pregnancy if you’ve already experienced one. On average, one out of every 100 women will have a repeat molar pregnancy.


Molar tissue can live and thrive after a molar pregnancy is removed. This condition is known as persistent gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). This happens in about 15% to 20% of complete molar pregnancies and up to 5% of partial molar pregnancies.

A high amount of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) after the molar pregnancy has terminated is one symptom of persistent GTN (HCG). When an invasive hydatidiform mole penetrates deep into the uterine wall’s middle layer, it can cause vaginal bleeding.

GTN that persists can almost always be treated successfully, with chemotherapy being the most common treatment. The uterus could perhaps be removed as a therapy option (hysterectomy).

Choriocarcinoma, a malignant type of GTN, develops and spreads to other organs in a small percentage of cases. Choriocarcinoma is usually treated with a combination of cancer medicines. A complete molar pregnancy is more likely to have this problem than a partial molar pregnancy.


Before trying to conceive again after a molar pregnancy, talk to your doctor or pregnancy care provider. He or she may advise waiting six months to a year before attempting to conceive. The likelihood of recurrence is modest, although it is higher than for women who have never had a molar pregnancy.

Your care provider may perform early ultrasounds during any subsequent pregnancies to monitor your status and reassure you that everything is fine. Prenatal genetic testing, which can be used to diagnose a molar pregnancy, may also be discussed with your provider.

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