Hydatidiform Mole


Hydatidiform Mole: A Complete Guide

A hydatidiform mole (also known as a molar pregnancy) is an abnormal growth of tissue in the uterus that can cause a variety of medical problems. While it is a rare condition, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of hydatidiform mole in order to seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is a Hydatidiform Mole?

A hydatidiform mole is an abnormal growth of placental tissue in the uterus caused by a genetic abnormality or disruption in development. Hydatidiform moles contain only a few placental and fetal parts, including the chorionic villi, a sac of fluid, and a few stray cells. Hydatidiform moles are classified as either complete or partial, depending on their appearance and composition. Complete mole is an unusually large chorionic sac with no embryonic or fetal parts, and the fetus does not survive. Partial mole is typically half of an normal pregnancy sac and may occasionally contain some development of the embryo or fetus.

What are the Symptoms of Hydatidiform Mole?

The signs and symptoms of hydatidiform mole can be subtle and vary from woman to woman. Symptoms may include:

  • Heavier or longer-than-usual periods (i.e. missed menstrual periods)
  • Excessive nausea and vomiting
  • Uterine enlargement
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain

What are the Causes of Hydatidiform Mole?

The cause of hydatidiform mole is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by an abnormality in the genetic material of the egg or sperm cell. It is important to note that hydatidiform moles are not inherited and cannot be passed down from a parent to a child. However, the risk of developing a hydatidiform mole increases in women who have had multiple miscarriages, or who have had a previous molar pregnancy.

Diagnosis of Hydatidiform Mole

The diagnosis of hydatidiform mole is based on a physical examination, ultrasound, blood tests, and confirming the diagnosis with laboratory testing. The ultrasound will show an unusually large gestational sac with no or very little fetal development. A blood test will reveal abnormally high levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a sample of the tissue taken from the molar pregnancy.

Treatment of Hydatidiform Mole

Hydatidiform mole can be treated with medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Medication is usually prescribed to stop the growth of the mole and reduce the levels of hCG in the body. Surgery is typically recommended if the mole is a complete type, as it is more likely to lead to uterine problems, such as infection or hemorrhage. The surgery may also be recommended in cases of partial mole in order to remove any remaining fetus or placental tissue.

Outlook for Hydatidiform Mole

The outlook for a hydatidiform mole depends on the type of mole. Most women with a partial mole will make a full recovery without any residual issues. However, a complete mole is more likely to cause complications, including infection and hemorrhage. It is important to seek medical help if any of the symptoms of hydatidiform mole are present. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent any further complications.