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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Molar Pregnancy

Answers to all your questions about molar pregnancy.

What is a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy happens when the tissue that normally would develop into a fetus instead forms an abnormal growth in the uterus. And even though it’s not an actual embryo, it unfortunately triggers some of the same symptoms of pregnancy, so many women with a molar pregnancy think they’re pregnant.

What are the signs of a molar pregnancy?

You may miss your period and have morning sickness -- which might make you assume you’re pregnant. You might also have vaginal bleeding, a larger-than-normal uterus, pelvic discomfort and grape-size vaginal discharge.

Are there any tests for molar pregnancy?

Your doctor can diagnose the condition (which is also referred to by the more scientific-sounding hydatidiform mole) through a pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound and blood tests. Abnormally high levels of the pregnancy hormone HCG are often a common indicator.

How common is a molar pregnancy?

Molar pregnancy is relatively rare, occurring in about 1 out of every 1,000 pregnancies.

How did I get a molar pregnancy?

It’s most often caused by a genetic problem (some kind of mutation in either the egg or sperm).

How will my molar pregnancy affect my baby?

We’re really sorry, but there isn’t a baby. A molar pregnancy can be emotionally difficult because most women who have them assumed they were pregnant, and finding out they’re not is much like finding out they’ve miscarried (see next page for treatment and resources).

-- C. Joseph Cadle, MD, ob-gyn, Kaiser Permanente, Atlanta, GA

 

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