A molar pregnancy or a hydatidiform mole is a benign tumor mass which develops in the uterus. It commences when an egg gets fertilized, but instead of there being a normal pregnancy, the placenta forms in to an anomalous collection of cysts.
In a complete molar pregnancy, the embryo as well as normal placental tissue is absent. In an incomplete one, there is an embryo, but it is abnormal and some amount of normal placental tissue.
The condition can have rather severe complications, including a type of cancer and needs prompt treatment.
Possible Causes Of Molar Pregnancy
The chief cause is an abnormally fertilized egg. Our cells comprise of 23 chromosomes pairs. One chromosome in each pair is derived from the father, and one from the mother.
In a total molar pregnancy, all the chromosomes in the fertilized egg are derived from the father.
In an incomplete molar pregnancy, the chromosomes of the mother remain, but the father gives 2 sets of chromosomes. Consequently, the embryo has 69 chromosomes in place of 46. This occurs when the father’s chromosomes get replicated or if 2 sperms fertilize one egg.
Signs And Symptoms Of Molar Pregnancy
- Red or brown vaginal bleeding during the first 3 months.
- Extreme nausea and vomiting.
- Passing of grape-like cysts through the vagina.
- Pelvic pain
In case you experience any of these symptoms, it is very vital that you meet your OB/GYN. She will identify other signs, such as:
- The uterus is too big for the stage of pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia which causes hypertension and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Ovarian cysts
Treatment Guidelines For Molar Pregnancy
A molar pregnancy cannot continue as a normal pregnancy. In order to avert complications, the molar tissue needs to be gotten rid of. Treatment comprises of one or more of the following:
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): Your OB/GYN will remove the molar tissue from the uterus via dilation and curettage which is generally conducted as an out-patient practice in a hospital. You will be given a local or general anesthetic and you need to lie on your back with legs in stirrups. A speculum is introduced in to the vagina to see the cervix. Your physician will dilate the cervix and get rid of the uterine tissue with a vacuum device. The procedure takes about half an hour.
- In certain cases, when the molar tissue is widespread and there is no wish for future pregnancies, you may have surgery to remove your uterus.
- HCG monitoring: After the molar tissue has been removed, the OB/GYN will measure your HCG level frequently, until it returns to normal. In case you continue to have HCG in your blood persistently, you will require supplementary treatment. Your doctor will continue to keep an eye on your HCG levels for 6 months to a year to ensure that there is no residual molar tissue. Given the fact that pregnancy makes it complicated to keep an eye on your HCG levels, your health care provider will advise you to wait until after follow-up before trying to conceive again.