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Is Molar Pregnancy Dangerous?

A molar pregnancy is a very rare complication of pregnancy. It causes an abnormal growth of trophoblasts, which are the cells that grow to form a placenta. A molar pregnancy is also known as a hydatidiform mole.

Is Molar Pregnancy Dangerous?

The molar pregnancy can lead to very serious complications, which may even include a very rare type of cancer. Molar pregnancy requires to be treated on an emergent basis. Taking a look at the symptoms of molar pregnancy will give you a better insight on how dangerous it can be-

  • At first, a molar pregnancy may appear anything like a normal pregnancy. However, it causes some specific signs and symptoms
  • There may be a dark brown or a bright red vaginal bleeding, usually during the first three months of pregnancy
  • There may be a severe nausea and even vomiting
  • Sometimes, cysts may pass through the vagina, which may look like grapes
  • You may experience pelvic pain or a pressure

On further evaluation by your doctor, he may find-

  • A fast-uterine growth, which does not correspond to the week of gestation
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Preeclampsia- there is protein in pregnancy along with a high blood pressure, which happens beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy
  • Anemia
  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • Hyperthyroidism

Risk Factors In Molar Pregnancy

Certain factors increase your risk of developing a molar pregnancy. Though these factors do not mean that they will always lead to a molar pregnancy, they only mean that people who fall in these categories are more likely to develop a molar pregnancy when compared to others. These factors include-

Age– The women who fall below the age of 20 years and those who are beyond 35 years are more likely to develop a molar pregnancy

Previous History Of Molar Pregnancy– If you have been affected by molar pregnancy previously, you are more likely to develop a molar pregnancy in your next conception. Though the chances of recurrence are rare, they still do exist, and the history should be taken into consideration

Complications Of A Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy can cause serious complications, including a cancer of a rare type. Hence, it is not to be continued and should be removed on an emergent basis.

When a molar pregnancy is removed, there is a chance that some molar tissue may still remain and keep growing inside the uterus. This condition is known as persistent gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN).

There may be a presence of HCG even after the removal of the molar pregnancy, which is an indication that the molar tissue is still present or growing. Sometimes, the molar pregnancy roots deep into the uterus wall, which may cause severe vaginal bleeding. Persistent GTN can be treated successfully with the help of chemotherapy. Hysterectomy, which means the removal of uterus, can be another option if chemotherapy does not work.

Very rarely, choriocarcinoma, which is a very serious type of GTN, can develop and spread to other organs in the body. Choriocarcinoma can be successfully treated with the help of different cancer drugs. This complication is more likely to affect those with a complete molar pregnancy, than those with a partial one.

Treatment Of Molar Pregnancy

Molar pregnancy is and normal pregnancy and cannot be continued like a normal pregnancy, as it can cause some very serious complications. Hence, it has to be removed on an emergent basis. This can be done with some ways, which may include-

  • Dilatation and curettage (D&C) or dilatation and evacuation (D&E)
  • Hysterectomy – removal of uterus
  • Monitoring to check levels of HCG – human chorionic gonadotropin- hormone

A molar pregnancy is an occasional complication that may occur in a pregnancy. In this condition, the trophoblasts (the cells that would normally grow and become placenta over time) grow abnormally. As a result, the foetus cannot survive usually, and it can cause many serious complications and prove dangerous.


  1. Lurain, J. R. (2010). Gestational trophoblastic disease I: epidemiology, pathology, clinical presentation and diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic disease, and management of hydatidiform mole. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 203(6), 531-539.
  2. National Cancer Institute. (2021). Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/types/gestational-trophoblastic/patient/gtd-treatment-pdq
  3. Savage, P. M., Sita-Lumsden, A., Dickson, S., Iyer, R., Everard, J., Coleman, R., & Seckl, M. J. (2013). The relationship of maternal age to molar pregnancy incidence, risks for chemotherapy and subsequent pregnancy outcome. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 33(4), 406-411.
  4. Seckl, M. J., & Sebire, N. J. (2010). Berkowitz’s gynecologic oncology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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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:August 1, 2023

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