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MedLines: What Do You Know About Molar Pregnancy?

By Patience Joseph Mamman

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What is Molar Pregnancy?
This is a type of abnormal pregnancy that occurs when tissue that normally should become a fetus after fertilization fails to do so and instead becomes an abnormal growth in the uterus; and though it is not a true embryo, it still triggers the symptoms of pregnancy.

Incidence: About 1 out of every 1,500 women come down with this.

Cause and Types of Molar pregnacy
Molar pregnacy is thought to be caused by a problem in the genetic information of the egg or sperm. The different types of molar pregnancy include:

Complete Molar Pregnancy:

  • An egg with no genetic information is fertilized by a sperm.
  • The product of such fertilization grows into a lump of tissue in the uterine cavity.
  • As the tissue grows it assumes a ‘grape cluster-like’ appearance.
  • It grows till it fills the whole of the uterine cavity.

Partial Molar Pregnancy.

  • An egg is fertilized by two sperms.
  • The placental tissue becomes the molar growth.
  • The fetus formed suffers severe defects and likely to die intra-uterine.

Risk Factors

  • Age: It most likely to occur in women from very early teenage ages to very late 30s to the 40s especially for the complete molar pregnancy.
  • Previous history of molar pregnancy.
  • A diet low in carotene( A form of Vit A).

Symptoms and signs.

Molar pregancy causes the same early symptoms in a normal pregnancy brings such as missed periods, or morning sickness. However, other symptoms which are specific to molar pregnancy includes:

  • Bleeding through the vagina
  • Rapidly growing uterus not corresponding to the age of the pregnancy.
  • Severe nausea and vomiting.
  • Signs of an overreactive thyroid e.g. tiredness, nervousness, increased heartbeats, profuse sweating.
  • Vaginal discharge of grape-like cluster tissues.

How its detected

  • Through ultrasound
  • By checking the HCG levels which is usually abnormally high in molar pregnancies. (HCG is simply the hormone that is produced when a woman is pregnant. It is the confirmatory test for a pregnacy.)

Any time you notice any of the above symptoms kindly visit your health care facility for proper checkup and diagnosis.

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