Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy

Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy

What is Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy?

Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy is a rare type of complication that can occur in some pregnancies. It is caused by an abnormal amount of sperm and egg that combine during conception, resulting in a pregnancy in which the placenta, which normally helps to nourish the fetus, becomes abnormal. Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancies are dangerous and can cause possible life-threatening complications if left untreated.

Anatomy of Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy

Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy is characterized by an abnormal-looking placenta that consists of an abnormal number of vesicles (or sacs). These vesicles can be scattered throughout the placenta and/or can be grouped together forming a mass on one side of the placenta. The placenta can also be abnormally enlarged or possess cysts.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancies are typically diagnosed during an ultrasound exam. The diagnosis is made when the radiologist or technologist detects the abnormal-looking placenta, which then needs to be confirmed by a pathology lab. Treatment for a Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy typically involves a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) to remove the abnormal formation from the uterus. After the procedure, the woman may be advised to go on bed rest for a period of time, and may be referred to a specialist for additional care.


Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy can cause several potential complications. These include:

  • Vaginal bleeding – The bleeding can be heavy at times and can be a sign of preterm labor.
  • High blood pressure –Molar pregnancies can cause severe increases in blood pressure.
  • Infection – Infections are often caused by the D&C procedure, and can be serious if not treated.
  • Risk of cancer – Women who have had a molar pregnancy have an increased risk of developing cancer of the reproductive organs.
  • Infertility – Women who have had a molar pregnancy may be at increased risk for infertility or for complications in their future pregnancies.

While Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancies can be a serious complication of pregnancy, they are also very treatable, and many women go on to have successful pregnancies after the condition has been treated. It is important to discuss any concerns or risks with your provider if you think you may be at risk for developing this condition.

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