Molar Pregnancy - Not Really a Miscarriage
Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 24, 2012
A molar pregnancy occurs due to a chromosomal abnormality in the process of conception. It is considered to be a type of GTD or gestational trophoblastic disease. Most miscarriages, although emotionally devastating, do involve relatively quick physical recovery. However, this is not always the case in molar pregnancies. There can be serious health complications in a molar pregnancy miscarriage. Treatment usually involves Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and many months of monitoring are required after the treatment. A molar pregnancy miscarriage cannot be considered to be the same as...
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...the other types of miscarriage as in this case, there is no baby but rather just a lump of tissue. It is important for a woman to understand the causes of a molar pregnancy as this will help to prevent emotional upheaval and feelings of loss.
Molar pregnancies can be classified into two types, complete and partial hydatidiform moles. Chromosomal complications in the fertilized egg are the cause of both types of molar pregnancies. These chromosomal problems lead to excessive growth of pregnancy tissue. It is possible for a partial molar pregnancy to become a fetus, but the abnormal placenta does not allow for a full-term pregnancy and the chromosomal abnormalities are detrimental to life. Even in a complete molar pregnancy, the fetus will not be recognizable even after development. Some women who experience molar pregnancies may develop serious complications such as invasive moles and choriocarcinoma. Invasive moles occur more commonly and the risk of developing this condition rises if the pregnancy progresses without any treatment. Invasive moles can also develop after surgical treatment. Choriocarcinoma refers to a type of cancer which may develop in the placenta and spread to other parts of the body. This is a serious condition, which can be treated with chemotherapy. There are some risk factors which make a woman prone to a molar pregnancy. Women above the age of 35 years or those who have had previous molar pregnancies are more at risk for a molar pregnancy miscarriage. However, like other miscarriages, a molar pregnancy can occur even if there are no risk factors present.
There are no specific symptoms of a molar pregnancy, although certain signs might be indicative of the condition. These include enlarged ovaries, higher than normal HCG levels during pregnancy and early pre-eclampsia. Nausea and vaginal bleeding also occurs in most cases. There may also be a swelling of the abdominal area. Doctors usually recommend a D & C in case of molar pregnancies. Sometimes medications may also be prescribed to decrease the risk of other complications. In rare cases, a twin conception may occur in which a hydatidiform mole develops alongside a viable pregnancy. But progress of the pregnancy could create serious risks to the health of the mother and hence termination of the pregnancy is generally recommended.
Read more articles from the Ectopic Pregnancy Category.