A molar pregnancy is a very rare problem that occurs early in a pregnancy, from a problem when the egg and sperm join together at fertilization. Molar pregnancies occur in somewhere around one in every 1000 pregnancies, so they do not happen very often. Sometimes, due to genetic error, a problem can occur during fertilization and can cause abnormal tissue to grow within the uterus. Molar pregnancies rarely involve a developing embryo, and the growth of this material is rapid compared to normal fetal growth. It has the appearance of a large and random collection of grape-like cell clusters. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
There are two types of molar pregnancies, complete and partial. In a complete molar pregnancy, there is no baby. The sperm fertilizes an empty egg. The placenta grows, and a pregnancy test will come back positive, however, when an ultrasound is performed, it will be clear that there is no baby. In a partial molar pregnancy, there will be the abnormal cells as well as an embryo that has severe defects. Unfortunately, the fetus will be overcome with the abnormal cells very quickly.
Although no one knows for sure what causes molar pregnancy, there are some risk factors that have been identified. Mexico, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines have higher rates than the US for molar pregnancies in women. In the USA, white women are at a greater risk than black women. Women over age 40, or with a history of miscarriage or molar pregnancy will also be at greater risk of molar pregnancies than other women.
With a molar pregnancy, there may or may not be symptoms. Sometimes a molar pregnancy is not detected until a doctor’s visit reveals no heart tone or fetal movement. In some cases, vaginal spotting or bleeding can occur, along with nausea or vomiting. Early preeclampsia, or gestational high blood pressure can occur in some cases. Increased HCG levels are also common with a molar pregnancy. If a woman with a molar pregnancy has an ultrasound, it will reveal a “cluster of grapes” appearance, which indicates an abnormal placenta. A pelvic exam may reveal a larger or smaller uterus, enlarged ovaries, and abnormally high amounts of the pregnancy hormone hCG.
Most molar pregnancies expel themselves on their own, and have grape like appearance. Doctors recommend that pregnancy be avoided for one year after a molar pregnancy to make sure that everything has healed properly. There is around a 1 to 2 percent chance of having a repeat molar pregnancy. Sometimes genetic counseling is recommended for some couples who have had a hard time dealing with their molar pregnancy.
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