How is a molar pregnancy treated?
Most molar pregnancies spontaneously end on their own. In these cases, grape-like cysts pass out of the uterus and through the vagina naturally.
Some women require treatment to remove molar pregnancies. Treatment involves dilation and curettage (use of a tool to remove tissue) with suction to remove all abnormal tissue from the uterus.
In rare cases, a hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the entire uterus, is necessary to treat a molar pregnancy.
What complications are associated with molar pregnancy?
Occasionally, parts of the molar pregnancy remain in the uterus after a spontaneous end to the pregnancy or after treatment. In these cases, persistent gestational trophoblastic disease may develop.
Persistent gestational trophoblastic disease means the initial surgery to remove the mole doesn’t cure the condition. When this happens, cells from the mole have grown into the muscle layer around the uterus. A mole that grows into the muscle layer is called an invasive mole. Invasive moles form in fewer than 1 in 5 women after having a complete mole removed.
In rare cases, persistent gestational trophoblastic disease causes a type of cancer called choriocarcinoma. Choriocarcinoma forms within the uterus and may spread to other parts of the body. Doctors may do a chest X-ray to determine if the mole has spread to the lungs. If choriocarcinoma has spread, it requires cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
Other potential complications of molar pregnancy include:
- Infection of the blood (sepsis)
- Infection of the uterus
- Preeclampsia (very high blood pressure)
- Shock (very low blood pressure)