Molar pregnancy

Our approach

We understand that molar pregnancy, an abnormality of the placenta that results in a nonviable pregnancy, is a condition that can be very stressful. Our compassionate experts work hard to explain this condition in full detail, while offering a customized treatment plan specific to your needs. 

Overview

A molar pregnancy, also known as a hydatidiform mole, refers to a noncancerous tumor that develops in the uterus. A molar pregnancy begins when an egg is fertilized and develops into an irregular mass of cysts. Molar pregnancies are extremely rare, occurring in only one out of every 1,000 pregnancies.

During a complete molar pregnancy, there is no embryo or normal placenta tissue, meaning there is no baby. Women who experience a complete molar pregnancy should not get pregnant for the following 12 months after the molar pregnancy has been diagnosed.

During a partial molar pregnancy due to triploidy (a rare chromosomal abnormality), an abnormal embryo and some normal placental tissue are present. The embryo may grow but cannot survive. Women who have gone through a partial molar pregnancy should not get pregnant for at least six months. 

Risk factors

Risk factors of a molar pregnancy include:

  • Age — Women over the age of 35 and under the age of 20 are at a higher risk for a molar pregnancy.
  • Previous molar pregnancy.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a molar pregnancy may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Absence of fetal movement or heart tone
  • High blood pressure
  • Vaginal passing of grape-like cysts 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis and testing methods for a molar pregnancy include:

  • A pelvic exam
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood test 

Treatment

Treatment options for a molar pregnancy may include:

  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) — This procedure involves the removal of molar tissue from your uterus via a vacuum device.
  • Hysterectomy — If molar tissue is extensive and you don’t wish to keep your childbearing abilities, you could be treated with a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of your uterus. 

Once molar tissue is removed, your doctor may recommend follow-up appointments to monitor the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy. If hCG is still present, you may require additional treatment.