Hydatidiform mole is a rare mass or growth that forms inside the womb (uterus) at the beginning of a pregnancy. It is a type of
Hydatid mole; Molar pregnancy
Hydatidiform mole, or molar pregnancy, results from over-production of the tissue that is supposed to develop into the placenta. The placenta feeds the fetus during pregnancy. With a molar pregnancy, the tissues develop into an abnormal growth, called a mass.
There are two types:
Partial molar pregnancy: There is an abnormal placenta and some fetal development.
Complete molar pregnancy: There is an abnormal placenta but no fetus.
Both forms are due to problems during fertilization. The exact cause of fertilization problems is unknown. A diet low in protein, animal fat, and vitamin A may play a role.
- Abnormal growth of the womb (uterus)
- Excessive growth in about half of cases
- Smaller-than-expected growth in about a third of cases
- Nausea and vomiting that may be severe enough to require a hospital stay
Vaginal bleeding in pregnancyduring the first 3 months of pregnancy
- Symptoms of
hyperthyroidism Heat intolerance Loose stools Rapid heart rate Restlessness, nervousness
- Skin warmer and more moist than usual
Trembling hands Unexplained weight loss
- Symptoms similar to
preeclampsiathat occur in the 1st trimester or early 2nd trimester — this is almost always a sign of a hydatidiform mole, because preeclampsia is extremely rare this early in a normal pregnancy
- High blood pressure
Swelling in feet, ankles, legs
Exams and Tests
A pelvic examination may show signs similar to a normal pregnancy, but the size of the womb may be abnormal and the baby’s heart sounds are absent. There may be some vaginal bleeding.
A pregnancy ultrasound will show an abnormal placenta with or without some development of a baby.
Tests may include:
HCG blood test
- Chest x-ray
- CT or MRI of the abdomen
- Complete blood count
- Blood clotting tests
- Kidney and liver function tests
If your doctor suspects a molar pregnancy, a
After treatment, serum HCG level will be followed. It is important to avoid pregnancy and to use a reliable contraceptive for 6 – 12 months after treatment for a molar pregnancy. This allows for accurate testing to be sure that the abnormal tissue does not grow back. Women who get pregnant too soon after a molar pregnancy have a high risk of having another molar pregnancy.
More than 80% of hydatidiform moles are
In some cases, hydatidiform moles develop into
In a few cases, a hydatidiform mole develops into a
Lung problems may occur after a D and C if the mother’s uterus is larger than 16 weeks gestational size.
Complications of molar pregnancy include:
- Thyroid problems
- Molar pregnancy that continues or comes back
Complications related to the surgery to remove a molar pregnancy include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Side effects of anesthesia