What is molar pregnancy?

Some people are familiar with the term false pregnancy. It is a situation where a woman experiences the symptoms of pregnancy and believes that she is pregnant. She begins to act pregnant and her body responds accordingly.

The initial stages of pregnancy can be a very exciting time for a couple. There are many preparations and planning as well as the precautions that need to be taken to protect the expecting mother. A change in the diet which now includes healthy foods loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables along with a healthy dose of dairy products. This is followed by a visit to a doctor. Initially it may not be obvious that the pregnancy is a molar pregnancy.

Even though the symptoms for a molar pregnancy are very similar to a normal pregnancy, you may have some other symptoms like bleeding. Women with a molar pregnancy also tend to have very high levels of HCG.

The initial signs of a molar pregnancy include the missing heartbeat of the baby. At 6 weeks you should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a Foetal Doppler. Usually this is the first sign of alarm that something is wrong with the pregnancy.

A molar pregnancy is a genetic error that takes place during the fertilisation of the egg and the sperm. It results in an abnormal tissue growth in the uterus and not into a foetus. This tissue is referred to as hydatidiform mole or just ‘mole’.

There are two types of molar pregnancies:

Complete molar pregnancy: This happens when a sperm fertilises an empty egg. No embryo is formed because the egg is empty but placenta begins to grow and produce HCG. The pregnancy test shows a positive result due to the high levels of the pregnancy hormone, HCG. It is only with an ultra sound that the doctors can tell that while there is a placenta there is no foetus.

Partial molar pregnancy: Is a pregnancy which contains of a mass of abnormal cells together with an embryo that does not develop properly and comprises of severe defects. This condition is said to be formed when an egg is fertilised by two sperm. However, this is a defective embryo and will not develop normally.

Another type of partial molar pregnancy includes a condition where the mother conceives twins. One embryo develops normally while the other becomes a mole. This mole is an abnormal growth which grows at a rapid pace and will soon consume the embryo.

To look at, the mole appears like a cluster of grapes like cells. The growth of these cells is quite rapid results in an enlarged uterus. The treatment is the removal of the mole and this pregnancy has no lasting or damaging effects on the mother.

Some FAQ’s

Can I have a normal pregnancy after a molar pregnancy?

Usually a molar pregnancy does not have any long term consequences and a woman can conceive a normal healthy baby in the future.

What are my chances of having a molar pregnancy?

1 out of every 1500 pregnancies is a molar pregnancy

How will I know if I have a molar pregnancy?

An ultra sound is the best way to determine if you have a molar pregnancy

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