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Molar Pregnancy - Topic Overview

What are the risks of having a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy can cause heavy bleeding from the uterus.

Some molar pregnancies lead to gestational trophoblastic disease. Sometimes this disease keeps growing after molar pregnancy is removed.

  • Complete molar pregnancies: Out of 1000 cases of complete molar pregnancy, 150 to 200 develop trophoblastic disease that keeps growing after the tissue is removed.3 This means that in the other 800 to 850 cases, this doesn't happen.
  • Partial molar pregnancies: Out of 1000 cases of partial molar pregnancy, about 50 develop trophoblastic disease.3 This means that in 950 cases out of 1000, this doesn't happen.

In a few cases, trophoblastic disease turns into cancer. Fortunately, almost all women who get this cancer are cured with treatment.1

In rare cases, the abnormal tissue can spread to other parts of the body.

How is it treated?

When you have a molar pregnancy, you need treatment right away to remove all of the growth from your uterus. The growth is removed with a procedure called vacuum aspiration.

If you are done having children, you may decide to have your uterus removed (hysterectomy) instead of having a vacuum aspiration to treat your molar pregnancy.

After treatment, you will have regular blood tests to look for signs of trophoblastic disease. These blood tests will be done over the next 6 to 12 months. If you still have your uterus, you will need to use birth control for the next 6 to 12 months so you don't get pregnant. It is very important to see your doctor for all follow-up visits.

If you do get trophoblastic disease, there's a small chance that it will turn into cancer. But your doctor will likely find it early so it can be cured with chemotherapy. In the rare case when the cancer has had time to spread to other parts of the body, more chemotherapy is needed, sometimes combined with radiation treatment.

Trophoblastic disease doesn't keep most women from becoming pregnant later.2

After a molar pregnancy, it’s normal to feel very sad and to worry about cancer. It may help to find a local support group or talk to your friends, a counselor, or a religious adviser.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 11, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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