HCG in a Molar Pregnancy
A molar pregnancy, also known as a gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), is a rare complication of pregnancy that affects approximately one in 1,000 pregnancies in the United States. In a molar pregnancy, most or all of the tissue inside the uterus is abnormal. The abnormal tissue is usually made up of an abnormal type of placental tissue.
What is HCG?
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that is produced in large amounts during a normal pregnancy and can be found in the blood and also, more typically, in the urine. HCG production begins immediately after the embryo implants in the uterus and keeps increasing until about 10-12 weeks into the pregnancy. During this time, HCG helps to maintain the production of progesterone, the hormone that is needed to maintain the uterine lining during pregnancy.
HCG in a Molar Pregnancy
In a molar pregnancy, there is an abnormally high level of HCG present in the blood, as there is no embryo or fetus to support. As such, HCG should be tested in women suspected to have a molar pregnancy. High levels of HCG generally correlate to a higher risk of the molar pregnancy becoming invasive.
Monitoring HCG Levels
When a molar pregnancy is diagnosed, it is important to monitor HCG levels in order to detect any re-growth of abnormal tissue. HCG levels should be checked regularly and monitored until it becomes low and stays low. It is also important to make sure that the woman does not develop any symptoms of persistent high HCG production, as this can be an indication of an invasive molar pregnancy.
HCG is a hormone that is produced during a normal pregnancy to help maintain the uterine lining. In a molar pregnancy, abnormally high levels of HCG can be found in the blood due to the lack of an embryo or fetus. Monitoring HCG levels can help indicate any re-growth of abnormal tissue or the development of an invasive molar pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of a molar pregnancy?
Symptoms of a molar pregnancy can include:
•Signs of early pregnancy, such as breast tenderness or nausea
•Fluid in the vagina
•An unusually large uterus
•Very high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood.
What are the signs and symptoms of a complete molar pregnancy?
Signs and symptoms of a complete molar pregnancy may include:
-Heavy vaginal bleeding
-Vaginal discharge that may have a grape-like texture
-Nausea and vomiting
-Raised hCG levels
-Fever and chills
-Low back pain
-An enlarged uterus
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