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A molar pregnancy means that tissue that normally becomes a fetus instead becomes an abnormal growth in your uterus. Even though it isn't an embryo, this growth triggers symptoms of pregnancy.
This tissue can cause serious problems in some cases. So a molar pregnancy should be treated right away. Treatment will make sure that all of the tissue is removed.
Molar pregnancy is thought to be caused by a problem with the genetic information of an egg or sperm. There are two types of molar pregnancy: complete and partial.
Sometimes a pregnancy that seems to be twins is found to be one fetus and one molar pregnancy. But this is very rare.
Things that may increase your risk of having a molar pregnancy include:
A molar pregnancy causes the same early symptoms that a normal pregnancy does, such as a missed period or morning sickness. But a molar pregnancy usually causes other symptoms too. These may include:
Most of these symptoms can also occur with a normal pregnancy, a multiple pregnancy, or a miscarriage.
Your doctor can find a molar pregnancy with:
Your doctor can also find a molar pregnancy during a routine ultrasound in early pregnancy. Partial molar pregnancies are often found during treatment for an incomplete miscarriage.
When you have a molar pregnancy, you need treatment right away to remove all of the growth from your uterus. The growth is removed with a procedure called vacuum aspiration.
If you don't want a future pregnancy, you may decide to have your uterus removed (hysterectomy) instead of having a vacuum aspiration to treat your molar pregnancy.
After treatment, you will have regular blood tests to look for signs of trophoblastic disease. These blood tests may be done over the next 6 to 12 months. If you still have your uterus, you will need to use birth control during this time so you don't get pregnant. It's very important to see your doctor for all follow-up visits.
If you do get trophoblastic disease, there's a small chance that it will turn into cancer. But your doctor will likely find it early so it can be cured with chemotherapy. In the rare case when the cancer has had time to spread to other parts of the body, more chemotherapy is needed, sometimes combined with radiation treatment. If you've had trophoblastic disease, it's likely you'll be able to get pregnant later.
After a molar pregnancy, you may feel many different emotions. It may help to find a local support group or talk to your friends, a counsellor, or a spiritual advisor.
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineDeborah A. Penava BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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