A molar pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg develops into a tissue instead of an embryo. It might be scary to lose a pregnancy this way, but if you get proper treatment, it`s unlikely that you`ll be experiencing any physical consequences on long term.
Table of Contents
What Is A Molar Pregnancy?
A molar pregnancy, known as hydatidiform mole as well, represents a form of gestational trophoblastic illness. This condition is the result of genetic errors taking place during the fertilization process which leads to the development of abnormal tissue inside the uterus. This type of pregnancy doesn`t contain a viable embryo and due to the rapid rate of evolution as well as the changes it causes in the body of the woman, it often gets confused during the first few weeks with a normal pregnancy. The mole`s aspect is particular: there`re in fact lots of united vesicles.
At present, statistics show around 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies are molar pregnancies.
Types of Molar Pregnancies
There are 2 types of molar pregnancy:
- Complete molar pregnancy.
- Partial molar pregnancy
Complete Molar Pregnancy
This type of molar pregnancy is characterized by the absence of the embryo as well as of a normal placenta, and by the presence of abnormal placental tissue inside the uterus. This tissue is made up of hydatidiform moles which can fill the entire uterus. It takes place when the egg`s nucleus is inactive or lost, and the spermatozoid`s genetic material will duplicate, as the egg doesn`t have the required genetic info.
Due to this genetic abnormality, an embryo cannot appear. The present vesicles develop in size quite fast, which leads to an increased volume of the uterus.
Partial Molar Pregnancy
This type of molar pregnancy involves the placenta`s development and its degeneration into molar tissue. Any embryo-fetal tissue which develops under this pregnancy will suffer severe abnormalities and genetic defects that are incompatible with life.
This pregnancy occurs when 2 spermatozoids fertilize the same egg and the result isn`t a twin pregnancy, but a partial moral pregnancy. At first, there`s the partial placenta, amniotic membranes, however, if the process will suffer any genetic defects, evolution will change its typical course and transform into a moral pregnancy.
Rarely, a partial molar pregnancy might develop with twins, where a fetus will develop quasi-normal, while the second fetus usually dies. If there are 2 embryos that develop, the most frequent scenario isn`t usually pretty, as the normal embryo will become consumed by the abnormal one.
What Causes Molar Pregnancy?
Molar pregnancy is caused by a malformation in the fertilized egg. Typically, cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. A chromosome in each pair is inherited from the father, while the other one from the mother. In a complete molar pregnancy, all the cells of the fertilized egg contain chromosomes only from the father. Immediately after fertilization, the chromosomes from the mother are eliminated or inactivated, and the ones from the father duplicate.
In partial molar pregnancy, the chromosomes from the mother remain, while the father supplies 2 sets of chromosomes. Consequently, the embryo will have 69 chromosomes, not 46. This occurs when the chromosomes from the father are duplicated or one egg is fertilized by 2 spermatozoids.
What Are the Symptoms of a Molar Pregnancy?
- Age (the risk of complete molar pregnancy increases after 35 years old).
- History of molar pregnancies (2 or 3 previous such pregnancies).
- Parasitosis (toxoplasmosis).
- Poor carotene diet.
- Several miscarriages.
- Endocrine disorders.
- Viral infections.
- Immunological disorders.
- Vaginal or uterine pH changes.
- Poor conditions of living.
How Soon Can You Detect a Molar Pregnancy?
A complete molar pregnancy can be detected by ultrasound starting with the 8th week of pregnancy. The doctor might notice that the uterus is increased for the present evolution of pregnancy, might notice the absence of the fetus or amniotic fluid, the form or volume of the placenta, ovarian cysts, etc.
If the doctor identifies such a pregnancy, he`ll make additional investigations involving anemia, preeclampsia or hyperthyroidism.
In all patients with a positive pregnancy rest and vaginal bleeding, the doctor needs to indicate the quantitative dosing of hCG when there`s a suspicion of molar pregnancy. The quantitative determination of hCG at the time of ultrasound will aid the doctor to make the difference between a complete molar pregnancy and an incomplete abortion.
If these are omitted, you could ask the doctor for the following medical investigations:
- Quantitative dosing of hCG.
- Pulmonary X-ray.
- Pelvic ultrasound.
- Blood tests.
- Upper abdominal ultrasound.
Risks of a Molar Pregnancy
After this type of pregnancy was removed, there`s a risk for the molar tissue to not be removed completely. This will continue to develop, a medical condition that is known as gestational trophoblastic disease. This risk is rather high, being occurred in 20% of cases.
Advise: Keep in mind that you should go to the doctor to all the necessary examinations after removing a molar pregnancy. In very rare cases, there`s a possibility for cancer to occur and it`s crucial for it to be detected as early as possible.
Can Molar Pregnancy Be Treated?
Such a pregnancy cannot continue as a viable normal pregnancy. In order to avoid any complications, a molar pregnancy should be removed. Regarding this, the doctor will perform a minor surgery known as dilatation and curettage. This procedure is performed with either, local or generally anesthesia, and will last for around 15 – 30 minutes. Then, the doctor will perform the cervical dilation and remove the tissue from the uterus. If the molar tissue is enlarged and you aren`t interested in becoming pregnant ever again, the uterus can be removed through a procedure known as hysterectomy. – Visit this link!
After the molar tissue was removed, the doctor will test the level of hCG in your blood again. If this level remains high, you`ll need additional treatment. Once the treatment has ended, the doctor will continue to monitor the hCG level for another 6 to 12 months to ensure there`s no molar tissue remained. Because the pregnancy might make this monitoring difficult, you`ll be recommended to wait 1 year before attempting to remain pregnant again.
Can a Molar Pregnancy Turn into Cancer?
The most frequent form of GTD is known as a molar pregnancy. It`s made up of villi which have increased in size. The villi swollen with fluid develop into clusters which look very much like bunches of grapes. This is known as a hydatidiform mole, and it`s not possible for a healthy baby to form. However, in very rare situations, usually less than 1 out of 100, a normal baby can develop along a molar pregnancy. This type of moles aren`t generally cancerous, but they can grow into cancerous gestational trophoblastic diseases.
Getting Pregnant after Molar Pregnancy
The loss of a pregnancy is a tough moment in the life of every woman. However, it`s essential to find the strength to overcome it. Generally speaking, a molar pregnancy doesn`t prevent a woman to become pregnant again and have a normal pregnancy and healthy child. So, be optimistic!