Understanding Molar Pregnancy
A molar pregnancy is rare, but can cause severe complications when it is discovered and evacuated. The actual medical term is hydatidiform mole. It means the pregnancy has not produced a fetus. The bulk of the product in the uterus is an abnormal placenta. There are two types of molar pregnancies that will be discussed, but the most important point of these pregnancies is the aftercare.
The first type is called a complete molar pregnancy. Essentially it means that the product of conception is strictly the placenta which has grown abnormally. There is no fetus. There are rarely any symptoms that indicate there is a problem. She may experience nausea, vomiting and perhaps spotting too, but all of these can also be regular signs of normal pregnancy. The way in which this happens is that a sperm fertilizes an empty egg; therefore all that grows is the placenta. It is normally discovered using an ultrasound. The placenta would resemble like a bunch of grapes. At this point the uterus must be evacuated. This procedure is commonly called a D&C.
The complication that can happen after the evacuation is that if all of the tissue is not removed it can begin to grow again. This tissue can also metastasize like cancer and grow in other areas like the lungs, brain and vagina. The recommended action is that you do not attempt to have another pregnancy for the next twelve months following the molar pregnancy. If the molar begins to grow again the pregnancy related hormone will start to rise. Your doctor will order chest x-rays and CAT scans of your brain to be sure that the tissue has not infected those areas. If it has, treatment is using a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate; which can be given as a single injection. Sometime a series of injection is needed but one is typically enough to eradicate the invading tissue.
The second type is called a partial molar. This happens when two sperm fertilize one egg and instead of producing twins, one fetus would grow with an abnormal placenta. This fetus typically dies in utero and is not considered a viable pregnancy. The fetus has too many chromosomes to survive outside the uterus. This type of molar pregnancy does not pose the same danger as the first type. However, the follow up care is similar; the HCG levels needs to be monitored carefully along with physical exams and no attempts to become pregnant for one year.
Once you have had a molar pregnancy, you would be at greater risk for having another one. This can make a woman experiences a sense of loss. Even though the result of conception was not a baby, the anticipation of having a baby along with parenting hopes and dreams are gone. You would have to wait for another 12 months before trying to get pregnant again. Take that time to get help to deal with the loss, either through counseling or support groups.