Molar Pregnancy

What is Molar Pregnancy?

A Molar Pregnancy occurs when tissue growth, instead of a fetus, begins to develop inside the uterus. A complete molar pregnancy materializes when a sperm fertilizes an egg, but instead of emerging as a fetus, the tissue develops into an abnormal growth.

This condition occurs when the mother’s chromosomes are absent soon after fertilization and only the father’s chromosomes remain after they are replicated. A partial molar pregnancy occurs when two sperm fertilizes the same egg and the abnormal growth emerges from the placenta. With this type of molar pregnancy, the chromosomes of the mother are still present but the father’s chromosomes are doubled. These chromosome abnormalities are believed to be caused by genetics in the sperm or egg.

What are the Symptoms of Molar Pregnancy?

There are various symptoms that indicate a molar pregnancy and the first symptoms are identical to the signs of a natural pregnancy, which are morning sickness and the absence of menstruation. Additional symptoms that are prevalent with a molar pregnancy include a vaginal discharge that contains tissue that looks like clusters of grapes, vaginal bleeding and excessive vomiting.

Some women experience profuse sweating, nervousness and an abnormal heartbeat, which are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Women who are at a higher risk of having a molar pregnancy include those who are over the age of 35, have an insufficient amount of carotene in their diet and have had previous miscarriages or molar pregnancies.

How is Molar Pregnancy Treated?

Many women who have a molar pregnancy will expel the tissue along with the vaginal secretions. If the tissue does not discharge from the body on its own, a doctor will perform a procedure in which suction curettage, dilation and evacuation are performed to remove the tissue.

After the procedure, individuals must schedule a future visit to the doctor for an examination to ensure the molar pregnancy is entirely absent from the uterus. Tissue that is left inside the uterus can develop into cancer that can spread inside the body.

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Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017
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