How common is a molar pregnancy?

(August 3, 2010)

Molar Pregnancies

A molar pregnancy arises when the fertilized eggs have some abnormalities at the time of conception. At this stage the egg does not develop into an embryo or in some cases it has some abnormalities because of which it cannot survive. The former case is known as a complete mole and in the latter cases it is called a partial mole. 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 chromosomes from the father is what the fertilized egg comprises of when your pregnancy is normal. In the case of a molar pregnancy there are no maternal chromosomes that are taken and there is a duplication of the father’s sperm. In cases of molar pregnancy that are partial, the chromosomes of the mother are normal while there are 46 chromosomes from the father. In most cases it is found that there are so many abnormalities in the fetus that it cannot survive.   

It is found that one in every 1,000 pregnancy is a molar pregnancy in the United States. This usually happens when a woman is under the age of 20 or more than 40 years of age. Your chances of having a molar pregnancy are higher if you have previously had a molar pregnancy or two. In women of Asian-origin the chances of a molar pregnancy are slightly higher, although there is no known reason for this. Women who have a history of miscarriage are more likely to have a molar pregnancy. Make sure you have enough of a Vitamin called beta-carotene as inadequate amounts of this could cause you to have a molar pregnancy.

In the early stages of your pregnancy the symptoms you depict will be the normal ones. However, at some point there is some bleeding or spotting. This does not necessarily indicate that you have a molar pregnancy and it is important that you call your midwife or doctor immediately. He/she, with the help of an ultrasound, will be able to diagnose a molar pregnancy. In the case of a molar pregnancy it is found that a cluster similar to a “bunch of grapes” is seen in your uterus. Your hCG levels are more than normal in such cases.  

If you do have a molar pregnancy there is no need to panic. Your doctor may do a simple surgery called a D and C (dilatation and curettage). Your cervix is widened and using a gentle suction and the tissue is then removed. A curette is then used to scrape off the remaining tissues. In some cases, a second D and C is required to ensure that the mole is completely removed.  In some cases doctors use medicines to help your body get rid of the tissues.

Submitted by P T on August 3, 2010 at 12:32

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