Hydatidiform birthmark, also called molar pregnancy, is a rare complication characterized by the abnormal growth of trophoblasts, the cells that normally develop into the placenta. During pregnancy, an organ develops in the womb to supply oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby, known as the placenta. This organ also removes waste products from the blood of the growing fetus. The organ attaches to the uterine wall during pregnancy.
Now that we know what the placenta is, let’s take a look at Molar Pregnancy:
There are two types of molar pregnancy that can manifest in an expectant mother. The first is a complete molar pregnancy and the other is a partial molar pregnancy. In a full molar pregnancy, the placental tissue behaves abnormally and swells. In this type, the placenta also appears to form fluid-filled cysts. The formation of fetal tissue also does not occur in full molar pregnancy.
Meanwhile, in a partial molar pregnancy, there may be normal placental tissue along with abnormally forming placental tissue. There may also be the formation of a fetus, but the fetus cannot survive and usually miscarries early in the pregnancy.
It should be noted that both types are usually benign cell growths and do not cause cancer.
Women over the age of 35 or under 20 have a high risk of developing a molar pregnancy. If a woman has had one molar pregnancy, she is more likely to have another. A recurrent molar pregnancy occurs on average in one in 100 women, according to Mayo Clinic.
At first, a molar pregnancy may seem like a normal pregnancy, but there are specific signs and symptoms that can indicate its presence. According to Mayo Clinic, these are some of the symptoms that may indicate a molar pregnancy:
- Dark brown to bright red vaginal bleeding during the first trimester
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Sometimes the vaginal passage of grape-like cysts
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Rapid uterine growth where the uterus is too large for the stage of pregnancy
- High bloodpressure
- Preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy
- ovarian cysts
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
The cause of molar pregnancy is a mix-up at the genetic, DNA level. In rare cases, when an imperfect or empty egg is fertilized by a sperm, it ends up with genes from the father, but none from the mother. This can lead to a molar pregnancy. Conversely, when an imperfect sperm or more than one sperm fertilizes a good egg, it can cause a mole.
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