A molar pregnancy is an uncommon pregnancy complication. The average woman is unlikely to counter one. In a molar pregnancy the placenta grows abnormally as a mass of cysts with or without an accompanying fetus.
In most cases there is no fetus. In some cases identifiable embryonic tissue which is not viable can be seen. This is called partial molar pregnancy.
The cause of a molar pregnancy is abnormality during fertilization. A molar pregnancy occurs when two sets of chromosomes from the father combine with one set of the mother’s chromosomes or none of her chromosomes at all. This is called a complete mole. Most molar pregnancies are discovered within the first few weeks of conception. They are not viable and do not survive. Most result in a miscarriage or have to be surgically terminated.
Having had one molar pregnancy does not generally put you at risk of another. Only one to two percent of women have a second molar pregnancy. It is an unusual pregnancy complication with no known cause.
Luckily for women, molar pregnancies are extremely rare, occurring in only 1 out of 1000 pregnancies. Women who have multiple miscarriages or women below the age of 15 or above 45 are at a slightly higher risk of getting it.
Signs And Symptoms Of Molar Pregnancy
The signs of a molar pregnancy are a continuous and intermittent dull brown discharge. There is severe nausea, vomiting and uncomfortable cramping. Women may experience high blood pressure and a large, heavy uterus. The uterus is soft and tender instead of firm. There is an absence of embryonic tissue as seen in the ultrasound. Elevated levels of thyroid hormone can be seen in the mother’s blood stream
Management Of Molar Pregnancy
You need to call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. These symptoms are common to a routine pregnancy and hence difficult to differentiate from a normal pregnancy. Normal pregnancies also show spotting, cramping, nausea and vomiting but trust your instincts and get yourself examined.
Talk to your practitioner to get some much needed reassurance. If an ultrasound shows that you have a molar pregnancy, the doctor may order a dilation and curettage to remove the abnormal traces of the molar pregnancy. The doctor may also put you on abortion pills if deemed fit and if it is early on in your pregnancy. Follow up is crucial because molar pregnancies result in another serious condition called as choriocarcinoma. If your molar pregnancy is treated on time, the risks of the cells turning malignant are fairly low. However it is better to err on the side of caution. Your practitioner may also suggest that you not try and get pregnant for at least another year to give your uterus a chance to heal.
To reduce the risk of molar pregnancies it is better that women do not delay their pregnancies till after 35. If you have suffered from a couple of miscarriages, it is better to determine their cause and get treated accordingly. Molar pregnancies are freak and generally women who have experienced them go onto have perfectly normal and healthy pregnancies.
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