Molar pregnancy is a rare complication that affects one in 1000 or 2000 women. It is found to be more common in Asian women particularly Indian and Pakistani.
In a molar pregnancy, the fertilization process goes totally wrong and the nucleus of the egg is either lost or not available and the sperm duplicates itself to make up for the lost genetic information.
The fertilized egg normally contains 23 chromosomes from the mother 23 from the father. But in the case of molar pregnancy, there are no chromosomes from the mother, hence the 23 chromosomes from the father duplicates itself and there is also no embryo, amniotic sac or placenta tissue. Instead there will be a cluster of cysts that actually looks like a bunch of grapes.
There have been also cases where the mother’s 23 chromosomes are present but for some reason the father ‘s chromosomes duplicates, so there are totally 69 chromosomes present instead of 46. This kind of situation might generally arises when two sperms fertilize a single egg. This type of pregnancy is called partial Molar Pregnancy. In a partial molar pregnancy, there will be some placenta tissue and some abnormal mass or cysts. In some cases, the embryo also starts developing but with 69 chromosomes this embryo is genetically abnormal. And even if it grows, it cannot survive and grow into a baby.
The early symptoms of molar pregnancy are very similar to a normal pregnancy. As the weeks pass by, you will have some vaginal bleeding, which might be anywhere between your 6th or 16th week of pregnancy. Other symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling will also be present. Your HCG levels would higher than the usual pregnancy level.
Medical termination of the fetus is the suggested treatment for Molar Pregnancy. D & C (Dilation and curettage), which is a minor operation, will be performed to remove the tissue. In some cases, you might be given medicines to miscarry and the resulting tissue would come out during your periods. You will also be required to periodically your blood and urine for the HCG levels, which should show zero once the tissue, is out of the body.
Regular health check ups and monitoring will be required up to six months after the termination of molar pregnancy. This is because the invasive moles are likely to affect your other organs even after the pregnancy has been terminated. Invasive moles are basically molar tissue that has grown into the muscle layer of uterus. If you are still experiencing vaginal bleeding after the operation, it could be because of the invasive mole. You can develop invasive moles even after a partial molar pregnancy. But this is completely curable with drugs and appropriate treatment. In cases where the invasive mole has spread in uterus, you will have to undergo a chemotherapy treatment.
Your chances of getting pregnant after a molar pregnancy are pretty good, unless there no other infertility problems. The odds of a second molar pregnancy are pretty remote. In fact, only about two percent of women have had a molar pregnancy for the second time. However, you will be required to wait for about six months before trying to conceive. Your HCG levels should be normal before you become pregnant again. If you were on chemotherapy, it would be recommended to wait for about a year before trying for a baby.
The fear of losing yet another baby is a nightmare for any woman. Be frank and open to your doctor about your fears. Talk to other women who have had molar pregnancy and share your experience with them.