Molar Pregnancy Complete Vs Partial

Submitted by Nic on January 19, 2012

What is a complete & partial molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy occurs due to the presence of a non cancerous tumor in the uterus. It also indicates that the placenta is developing a mass of abnormal and benign (non cancerous) cysts. Due to this, the pregnancy is not a viable one and it needs to be treated, without wasting much time. There are two different types of molar pregnancies; the first type is known as a complete molar pregnancy and the second type is called a partial molar pregnancy.

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Description of molar pregnancy, complete Vs partial

When a woman or a medical health care provider suspect an instance of a molar pregnancy, they will first need to confirm if it is a complete molar pregnancy or a partial molar pregnancy.

A complete molar pregnancy occurs when the egg that has been fertilized contains only genetic material from the father; the mothers genetic material is completely absent from the egg, which is why proper placental growth is not possible. In simple words, a complete molar pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an empty egg, due to which there is no embryo, but only tissues of placenta.


When this happens the placenta begins to duplicate itself over and over, till there are several grapelike eruptions that fill the uterus up.

When a partial molar pregnancy occurs, it means that the egg has been fertilized by two sperm and it cannot grow properly. In some cases, when 2 sperm fertilize an egg, it leads to twins; however, in case of a molar pregnancy, something goes wrong and the placental turns into a mole. Moreover, instead of the normal 46 chromosomes, such eggs have 69 chromosomes, leading to further complications. This in turn leads to abnormal placental growth and severe defects in fetal tissues. There are some rare instances of partial molar pregnancies, where one fertilized egg develops into a fetus, whereas the other one develops into the mode.

Symptoms of molar pregnancy complete Vs partial

Both types of molar pregnancy are a major cause for concern and should be treated as early as possible. It is best to speak to a doctor for information on the signs and symptoms molar pregnancy complete vs partial and the best course of action, to proceed. Some of the symptoms that may be seen in molar pregnancies are:

  • A larger than normal uterus
  • Severe vomiting
  • Passing bright red spots of blood
  • Cramps in the abdominal area
  • High blood pressure

Hormonal levels in a molar pregnancy complete Vs partial

One way of assessing whether a pregnancy is a molar pregnancy or not, is by checking the HCG levels. In a complete molar pregnancy they rise at a rapid rate, but in case of a partial molar pregnancy, they rise at a lower rate.

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