Molar pregnancy occurs in one in every 1,500 pregnant women and is the result of an abnormal fertilization of the ovum that produces a deformed growth of the placenta. The cause is a series of chromosomal abnormalities that prevent the embryo from developing properly .
The placenta grows abnormally and becomes a mass of fluid-filled cysts also called a hydatidiform mole , it is a mass of tissue in the shape of a cluster of grapes or snowflakes.
There are two kinds of molar pregnancy. It can be incomplete or complete . The first occurs more frequently and occurs when an embryo is formed that does not finish developing, while the second occurs when an abnormal placenta develops and no fetus develops. In both cases the embryo does not survive .
The traumatic thing about molar pregnancy is that at the beginning the symptoms are the same as those of a normal pregnancy. That is, the pregnancy test is positive and all the signs confirm the presence of a pregnancy.
During the first weeks a molar pregnancy is not differentiated from a normal pregnancy, an embryo with a heart beating in an incomplete molar pregnancy can even be seen in an ultrasound of the first weeks. It is only when performing a subsequent ultrasound that something is wrong and that what should look like an embryo has an abnormal appearance.
Molar pregnancy symptoms
Let’s know what the most common symptoms of a molar pregnancy are :
- Intermittent losses of brownish color.
- Nausea and vomiting (more than in a normal pregnancy).
- Excess salivation.
- Vaginal bleeding or bleeding.
- Increased levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone)
- Excessive growth of the uterus that does not correspond to the weeks of gestation.
- Increase in blood pressure.
As we said before, in no case does a molar pregnancy survive since the embryo does not develop properly .
In most cases, a miscarriage occurs accompanied by dark, watery bleeding, although it is usually not accompanied by pain.
If this does not happen, the molar tissue is extracted from the interior of the uterus by means of a curettage.
During the following months, the levels of the human gonadotropin hormone (the pregnancy hormone) are controlled until its levels normalize and the uterus is controlled preventively because one of the complications of molar pregnancy is that a choriocarcinoma, a malignant tumor but with a high cure rate.
How long to wait to try again?
Women, and their partners, who suffer a molar pregnancy have a difficult experience. Confusion, tests, studies and the concern about whether they will be able to become pregnant again in the future, added in some cases, to the lack of sensitivity of professionals to these types of issues.
The general recommendation is to wait between six months and a year to look for a new pregnancy again.
The probability that a molar pregnancy will recur in subsequent pregnancies is remote , between 1 and 2%, so that almost all women who have suffered a molar pregnancy have later managed to get pregnant and have a baby. In the case of repetitions, it would be appropriate to seek genetic counseling.
Some studies suggest that molar pregnancies could be related to a diet low in protein levels that could cause ovulation defects. That is why they recommend increasing the consumption of animal proteins and vitamin A to minimize the chances of suffering a pregnancy of this type.
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