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A molar pregnancy is also known as gestational trophoblastic disease. A problem occurs during fertilization of the egg. The tissues that normally would form the fetus and placenta instead grow into a fast growing mass of cysts, or hydatidiform mole, in the uterus. Molar pregnancies can be complete or partial, and are slightly more common in women of Asian and African decent and women over 40.
 Types of molar pregnancies
A complete mole will have formed only abnormal placental tissue and no embryo. Partial mole pregnancies will have some embryonic tissue that is formed alongside the molar tissue. The fetal tissues that form will show many malformations and can not grow to develop into a normal baby. The majority of molar tumors are benign, that is, non cancerous; but some are cancerous and can spread beyond the uterus.
A chorioadenoma destruens is an invasive mole. It is an aggressive tumor that can spread beyond the uterus. The villi that form on the invasive mole grow up through the uterine wall. This invasive mole can perforate the uterus and cause bleeding.
Molar tissues can form choriocarcinoma, in rare cases. Choriocarcinoma is the cancerous form of molar pregnancy. It is more often associated with complete moles than it is with partial moles.
 Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of molar pregnancy include:
 Diagnosis and treatment
Your doctor will look for an abnormal placenta on an ultrasound and for a smaller or larger than normal sized uterus, high hCG levels and enlarged ovaries. If you are diagnosed with a molar pregnancy your treatment will likely take several months to complete. You will need surgery to remove the tumor, and some cases require chemotherapy. After treatment you will need to have blood work and checkups to ensure that all molar tissue is gone. It is recommended that you not attempt to get pregnant for one year after a molar pregnancy.
It is emotionally draining to lose a pregnancy this way, but the prognosis is good provided you receive proper treatment. In many cases it is possible to eventually have a normal pregnancy.