Molar pregnancy is quite a rare abnormality caused by the faulty fertilization of the egg by the sperm. Technically known as gestational trophoblastic disease, molar pregnancy can be categorized into two types: partial and complete. In a complete molar pregnancy, the sperm fertilizes an empty egg, as a result of which the placenta begins to grow in the absence of a fetus. In a partial molar pregnancy, there are genetic irregularities in the developing fetus. Sometimes, two sperms fertilize a single egg, but instead of that leading to the development of twins, this process results in a single embryo with ...
Also, in a few very rare cases, there may be one normal fetus and another abnormal mass of cells developing simultaneously in the uterus, in which case the latter soon vercomes the former. The problem with this kind of pregnancy is that after fertilization, the placenta begins to secrete the hormone HCG, the presence of which in a urine or blood sample is inferred as a positive sign of pregnancy. It is only when an ultrasound of molar pregnancy is conducted that the abnormality is detected. The images obtained from both complete and partial molar pregnancy ultrasound reveal the growth of a lump of cells that look somewhat like a bunch of grapes instead of a normal fetus.
The first symptoms of this condition could be extreme nausea, problems relating to the functioning of the thyroid gland, vaginal spotting and bleeding, an unusually high level of HCG in blood or urine, and the absence of any fetal movement in the uterus. A preliminary pelvic examination in such cases often reveals an abnormal expansion or contraction in the size of the uterus and enlarged ovaries. It has been observed that women in their early forties are at a greater risk of suffering from this condition than their younger counterparts.
Also, South Asian and Philippine women have a greater risk than Caucasian women of a molar pregnancy. The risk also increases if one has had a miscarriage or a molar pregnancy in the past. Once the ultrasound of molar pregnancy confirms the problem, the patient is treated through surgical eviction of the abnormal mass of cells from the uterus. This procedure is conducted under general anesthesia using a set of small instruments that dilate the cervix and then extract the placental material through a suction device called a curette.