Molar Pregnancy Bleeding

Submitted by Nick on January 19, 2012

A molar pregnancy is a rare pregnancy complication. It is also called gestational trophoblastic disease or complete or partial mole. There are two types of molar pregnancies, namely complete molar pregnancies and partial molar pregnancy. This complication is a form of genetic malformation that sets in at the time of conception itself. In a complete molar pregnancy, the mother's ovum is empty, that is the nucleus is either absent or inactive. In other words, the mother does not contribute any chromosomes needed for the formation of a child. However, the father's chromosomes duplicate to make up the 46 needed for conception.


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This being abnormal, results in the formation of just abnormal placental cells that multiple quickly and resemble a bunch of grapes. No baby is formed and nor is there an amniotic sac or any amniotic fluid. In the case of a partial molar pregnancy, the mother contributes 23 chromosomes as in normal pregnancies.

However, a single egg gets fertilized by two sperm resulting in double the amount of chromosomes needed from the father. In some cases, the 23 chromosomes contributed by the father duplicate resulting in 46 paternal chromosomes. In this case, an embryo is formed but having an inappropriate number of chromosomes, the baby can never be normal. In this case, as well, abnormal placental cells multiple rapidly.

Molar pregnancy bleeding or vaginal bleeding is a common symptom of this type of pregnancy complication. In normal pregnancies, the placenta receives a large supply of blood through which it passes on nutrients to the developing baby. However, in the case of a molar pregnancy, since the placenta does not function properly, the blood flows into the uterine cavity and vaginal bleeding is observed. The passage of blood clots or a brownish discharge is typically seen in molar pregnancy bleeding. Some women are even known to pass small clusters of the abnormal placental tissue. Molar pregnancy bleeding is mainly seen between the 6th and 12th weeks of gestation.

The other common symptoms of molar pregnancies are severe nausea and vomiting. This is a result of the higher than normal hcg levels during pregnancy produced by the deformed placenta. Hypertension and hyperthyroidism are also indicators of molar pregnancies. Since the placental cells multiple at a rapid rate, the uterus expands before time and a pregnancy becomes obvious much earlier than in the case of a normal pregnancy. However, confirmation of a molar pregnancy is possible only after intensive medical investigation and an ultrasound that displays exactly what is going on within the uterus.

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