Molar Pregnancy Treatment in Laguna Hills, CA
A molar pregnancy is a rare occurrence in which a noncancerous (benign) tumor, also referred to as a hydatidiform mole, forms in the uterus in place of a normal embryo.
There are two types of molar pregnancies:
- Partial Molar Pregnancy: The egg develops a growth containing an abnormal embryo and some normal placental tissue. In partial molar pregnancies, the malformed embryo cannot survive.
- Complete Molar Pregnancy: The egg develops a growth containing no embryo or normal placental tissue.
Molar pregnancies pose serious health threats which demand early treatment. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Laguna Hills that specializes in molar pregnancy treatment, call (949) 829-4929 or contact Dr. Elizabeth Johnson online.
Molar Pregnancy Causes
Molar pregnancies take place as the result of something going wrong during the fertilization process which causes an abnormally fertilized egg. In normal pregnancies, fertilized eggs contain 23 chromosomes from the father, and 23 chromosomes from the mother. This isn’t the case, however, in molar pregnancies.
In partial molar pregnancies, the fertilized egg has a normal set of chromosomes from the mother, and two sets from the father, resulting in 69 chromosomes instead of the normal 46. This happens when either chromosomes from the sperm are duplicated or when two sperm fertilize the same egg.
In complete molar pregnancies, the fertilized egg contains two copies of the chromosomes from the father, and none from the mother. In these cases, there is no embryo, amniotic sac or any normal placental tissue. Instead, what follows is a placenta that forms from a mass of cysts bearing the resemblance of a cluster of grapes.
Molar Pregnancy Symptoms
Molar pregnancies begin like normal pregnancies, but soon after specific signs and symptoms of molar pregnancy will present which should be documented and reported to your healthcare provider. These molar pregnancy symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding during the first trimester, which ranges in color from dark brown to bright red
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Vaginal passage of grape-like cysts
- Pelvic pain or pressure (rare)
Molar Pregnancy Diagnosis
If a molar pregnancy is suspected, your healthcare provider will likely request a blood test to measure the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone in your blood. A standard ultrasound of your abdominal and pelvic area will follow. A more specific transvaginal ultrasound, which uses a wand-like device to inspect the inside of the vagina, will likely be recommended because the uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to the vagina than the abdominal surface during early pregnancy.
Results of your ultrasounds will differ if you have either a partial or complete molar pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may suspect you have a partial molar pregnancy if you present with:
- A growth-restricted fetus
- Low amniotic fluid
- A thick cystic placenta
A complete molar pregnancy, on the other hand, may be suspected if you present with:
- No embryo or fetus
- No amniotic fluid
- A thick cystic placenta nearly filling the uterus
- Ovarian cysts
Molar Pregnancy Treatments
Molar pregnancies, either partial or complete, cannot viably continue to term and will be removed in order to prevent complications of molar tissue. Molar pregnancy treatments include:
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): A procedure to remove the molar tissue from your uterus.
- Hysterectomy: If the molar tissue is extensive and you have no desire for future pregnancies, your healthcare provider may elect a hysterectomy, a procedure to remove the uterus.
- HCG monitoring: Following tissue removal, your healthcare provider reassesses your HCG blood levels until they are normal. If your blood’s HCG levels don’t dissipate, additional treatment may be necessary.
If you've experienced a previous molar pregnancy, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider before attempting to conceive again. In addition to likely recommending you and your partner wait 6 months to a year before trying to conceive again, your healthcare provider can monitor your subsequent pregnancies early with ultrasounds, assessing your condition to ensure normal development is taking place.
Molar Pregnancy Complications
In some cases, molar pregnancy complications may follow treatment. 1 out of every 5 patients experience gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), which is when, following the molar pregnancy removal, molar tissue may remain and continue to grow. These cases typically occur in patients that have had a complete molar pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will monitor your levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone, which is markedly tied to GTD cases. In some cases of GTD, an invasive mole may penetrate the uterine wall, causing vaginal bleeding. GTD can be treated with chemotherapy or through a hysterectomy.
In rarer cases, a cancerous form of GTD called choriocarcinoma can develop and spread to other organs in your body. Molar pregnancy cancer can usually be treated successfully with a combination of cancer treatments which should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
In the event of a molar pregnancy, immediate medical attention is needed to ensure damage is not sustained that prevents future pregnancies or possibly threatens the mother's life. Seek molar pregnancy treatment from a healthcare provider in Laguna Hills. Call (949) 829-4929 or contact Dr. Elizabeth Johnson online.
Orange Coast Women's Medical Group
Address24411 Health Center Dr.
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm