What is a Molar Pregnancy?

Dear Doc,

I was diagnosed with  H-mole at 2004. I had chemo & was cured. I had my first child at 2005 & 2nd at 2009. Is there a chance it will recur? Does h-mole develop only during pregnancy? How can I monitor & take care of myself to avoid having this again?

Thanks in advance.


Dear R.B.

Hydatidiform Mole is a very rare condition. It happens only in 1 out of every 500 pregnancies. I consider that quite rare since a miscarriage is much more common, occurring in 1 out of every 5 pregnancies.

Molar pregnancies arise only from a pregnancy. Therefore: only a woman …  and only a woman with sexual intercourse can have an H. Mole.

It stems from a problem during fertilization so that when the egg and the sperm meet, no fetus develops. Only the placenta develops in a hyperactive manner.

The woman will think she is pregnant because she will have all the signs and symptoms of pregnancy like the missed period, positive pregnancy test, nausea, vomiting and enlargement of her belly.

For those who visit their doctors early, an ultrasound will reveal that the uterus is empty. There is no fetus, only a mass of enlarged placenta filled with tiny vesicles.

The others who are not so lucky to have an early ultrasound will keep on thinking their baby is slowly growing in their tummy until one day she will just have profuse bleeding with “sago” like vesicles coming out of her vagina. These are the molar products.

Treatment is usually evacuation of the blood clots and placenta by curettage or, in the worst-case scenario, a total hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) just to be able to control the bleeding.

Chemotherapy may or may not be given depending on the levels of the HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. This is a blood test to determine how serious the condition is. The higher the HCG, the higher the chance for the H. Mole to recur. It may even lead to Choriocarcinoma which is the cancerous form of molar pregnancy.

There is no way to determine if H. Mole will recur in your subsequent pregnancies. There was one case at the government hospital where I trained that recurred after 9 normal pregnancies.

There is also no known way to prevent it.

Very few cases have been reported for a recommendation to be deemed reliable. But there are one or two anecdotal reports from journals saying that a diet low in red meat and Vitamin A may be the cause.

Some journals revealed increased incidence of H. Mole in areas whose main livelihood was fishing. The study group had decreased animal fat in their diet and no carotene intake from vegetables.

For you R.B. I suggest, kahit na mahal, you’ll have to include steak in your budget and take a Vitamin A supplement too.

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  1. aiz says:

    hello po!!is it possible to have H-Mole even if im not sexually active ever..thank you po;)