Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy is a complicated pregnancy. It occurs when the process of fertilization goes wrong during conception and there may be abnormal placenta cells. It is also called hydatidiform mole as it is a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. It is normally non cancerous and at times it may spread beyond the womb but is a curable disease. Molar pregnancy can be of two types complete or partial.

Causes of Molar Pregnancy

Usually an embryo contain  23 chromosomes from the father and 23 chromosomes from the mother. Molar pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg has no maternal chromosomes instead it has two paternal chromosomes. That means the embryo consist of duplicated chromosomes of the father alone. This in turn results in no true embryo and no placenta, amniotic sac and amniotic fluid. Instead there will be a mass of cysts that have the appearance of bunches of grapes. This cyst can be seen in an ultra sound scan and is called complete molar pregnancy.

In case of partial molar pregnancy the fertilized egg consist of one pair of maternal chromosome and two chromosomes from the father. Hence instead of the 46 chromosomes the fertilized egg will have 69 chromosomes. This happens when two sperms fertilize the same egg. Here there may be few placental tissues along with the abnormal tissue mass. Hence the embryo starts to develop and there may be amniotic sac, fetal tissues etc. Even though the embryo is formed it won’t be genetically normal and it can’t develop in to a normal baby. Partial molar pregnancy is more difficult to detect than complete molar pregnancy.

Symptoms of Molar Pregnancy

There may be vaginal bleeding and the bleeding may be dark brown or bright red and it may be intermittent or continuous. Molar pregnancy may leads to severe vomiting and nausea. There may be abdominal swelling due to the rapidly growing uterus. There won’t be any fetal heart movement and there may be hyperthyroidism. Most of the time the affected woman may have an increased hCG level that can be detected through blood test.

Molar pregnancy has to be removed through D & C and the level of hCG has to be checked periodically to confirm that you don’t have any more molar pregnancy. After this it will be ideal to avoid pregnancy for one year.



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