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Can You Die From Molar Pregnancy?

Molar pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy in which the embryo fails to develop properly. In this condition, abnormal cells grow in place of the embryo. It grows at a faster pace than a normal embryo. It is detected accidentally during an ultrasound scan as it represents symptoms similar to normal pregnancy. In some cases, few women may experience symptoms like vaginal bleeding, severe morning sickness, and an abnormally big tummy. It can be successfully managed with the available treatment options. It can be prevented if the next pregnancy is delayed for six months to one year.

Can You Die From Molar Pregnancy?

Can You Die From Molar Pregnancy?

Molar pregnancy is characterized by the development of a cluster of abnormal cells in place of a normal fetus. Molar pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy. In rare cases, the abnormal cells may remain in the uterus even after D & C (Dilation and Curettage). This may lead to a condition named gestational trophoblastic neoplasia that may cause cancer. However, molar pregnancy does not cause death.

Molar pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy that is marked by the growth of an abnormal group of cells called mole. This condition is also known as hydatidiform mole. It develops in the placenta during pregnancy instead of a fetus. The growth of this mole is faster than a normal fetus. It resembles a large bunch of grapes and forms clusters of the cells. These cells develop due to non-transfer of mother’s genetic material in the fertilized egg. It carries all the genetic material of the father. In this condition, a mother’s genetic material or chromosomes are lost or inactivated.

Types Of Molar Pregnancy

There are two types of molar pregnancy-

  1. Complete Molar Pregnancy– It is represented by the growth of the mass of abnormal mass in placenta instead of a fetus.
  2. Partial Molar Pregnancy– Partial molar pregnancy is represented by a growth of abnormal mass that transforms into a fetus. But, this abnormal fetus cannot survive or grow into a baby.

Risk Factors For Molar Pregnancy

The risk factors that can trigger molar pregnancy are following-

  • Women’s age is either lower than 20 years or higher than 35 years.
  • Women belong to Mexican, Philippines or Southeast Asian community.
  • White women develop molar pregnancy more than black women.
  • Women have a previous history of molar pregnancy or many miscarriages.

The chances of recurrence of molar pregnancy are very low. But it is slightly higher in women who have the previous history of molar pregnancy.

Symptoms For Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy does not have different symptoms from that of normal pregnancy. In a few cases, it may show certain signs and symptoms. These symptoms can be

  • Vaginal bleeding in the first trimester
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Abnormal growth of the abdomen
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Expulsion of some grapes like cyst from the vagina

Complications Of Molar Pregnancy

Death does not happen due to molar pregnancy. Usually, molar pregnancy can be cured by getting rid of abnormal molar tissue with many treatment options. The best way to treat molar pregnancy is termination of pregnancy or removal of the mole.

In some cases, these abnormal sets of cells are left in the womb that may continue to grow. They may extend deep inside the uterus. This condition is known as gestational trophoblastic neoplasia. It may also travel to different parts of the body. This condition is known as persistent trophoblastic disease. It can be treated with chemotherapy. In severe condition, surgical removal of the uterus is recommended to get rid of these abnormal cells.

In rare cases, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia may transform into cancerous form. This is known as choriocarcinoma that develop in the uterus. It spreads to various organs. It is more prevalent in the cases of complete molar pregnancy than a partial molar pregnancy. It can be successfully treated with medications of cancer.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Molar Pregnancy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/molar-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375175
  2. American Cancer Society. (2021). Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/gestational-trophoblastic-disease/about.html
  3. World Health Organization. (2010). Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia Treatment Guidelines. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44406/9789241599033_eng.pdf;jsessionid=F64E4DF726EA76892C26EF482F400B30?sequence=1
  4. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2010). Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage: Diagnosis and Initial Management in Early Pregnancy of Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg154/chapter/1-Guidance#diagnosis-of-ectopic-pregnancy

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 16, 2024

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