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The Mystery of the Molar Pregnancy

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A friend of mine, quite a few years back, talked about doctors removing a clump of tissue from her uterus. She said that it wasn’t a baby, but it did have hair and teeth. Okay, my thought was, it might not have ended up a living baby, but it sure sounded like it was one in the beginning. I have always wondered about that.

After becoming a writer, you learn many things because of the sheer amount of research you have to do. In this article, I ran up on the condition my friend probably had. It’s called a molar pregnancy or hydatidiform mole. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a noncancerous tumor that develops in the uterus. Further, a molar pregnancy can be complete – where there’s no embryo or normal placental tissue in the mass – or it can be incomplete – containing an abnormal embryo and even some placental tissue. In the case of the incomplete molar pregnancy, the embryo is so malformed that it can’t survive.

How would you know?

First of all, every pregnant woman should get prenatal care to monitor any changes that may happen. Additionally, if you are experiencing any of the following, the Mayo Clinic suggests seeking medical help:

• Dark brown to bright red vaginal bleeding during the first trimester
• Severe nausea and vomiting
• Vaginal passage of grape-like cysts
• Rarely, pelvic pressure or pain

Once seen by your physician, the doctors will look for signs similar to the ones listed below:

• Rapid uterine growth — the uterus is too large for the stage of pregnancy
• High blood pressure
• Preeclampsia — a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy
• Ovarian cysts
• Anemia
• Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

Who’s at risk and what causes it anyway?

A molar pregnancy happens once in every hundred pregnancies. Those who are very young (under 20) and older (over 35) are at risk. If you’ve had a previous molar pregnancy, then unfortunately, your chances increase on having another one. And lastly, research has indicated that this type of pregnancy seems to occur most in Southeast Asian women.

The cause stems from an abnormal fertilized egg.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.