Hydatidiform mole is a pregnancy related ailment. In this condition, the uterus of the woman contains a cell growth as a substitute for the foetus in the early days of pregnancy. It can either be a growth of irregular fertilized egg or a case of placental tissue overgrowth. It has an appearance comparable to a cluster of grapes. As a matter of fact, the majority of women affected by it do not have cancer but in some rare instances it can lead to a cancerous tumor. This is a prevalent pregnancy complication witnessed in continents like Asia. Women aged between 20 to 40 years are more susceptible to this ailment.
A Hydatidiform mole can be classified into two genres, a partial mole and a complete mole. In the former, the irregular tissue comes from both the parents where as in the latter; the father contributes the defective embryonic tissue.
A complete Hydatidiform mole is created when a single sperm fertilizes an empty egg in the mother’s womb. It thereafter replicates its own DNA and the process is named androgenesis. A complete mole has a parental origin DNA. It also has two copies of each chromosome. While its 10% chromosomes are male, the rest is female. The foetus can not develop in this type of mole.
If two sperms fertilize a regular haploid egg, the partial mole can take place. The egg can also get inseminated by a single sperm and the duplication of paternal chromosomes can take place. Therefore, the DNA of a partial mole can be both paternal and maternal in origin.
The specific cause behind the occurrence of Hydatidiform mole still remains to be found out. Nevertheless, the doctors point at some reasons like abnormalities in the egg, nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. If a woman follows a diet which is low in protein, carotene and folic acid she can also contract this malady.
A woman who develops a Hydatidiform mole feels just like a pregnant woman. But the growth rate of the mole is much faster than that of a foetus. As a consequence, her abdomen region gets bigger faster than expected. The woman may also feel vomiting and nausea. The vagina may bleed at the first trimester and the grape like material may pass. Other important symptoms visible in the first three month include swelling of legs, high blood pressure etc.
The cases of molar pregnancies can be identified by vaginal bleeding that does not cause any pain to the affected woman. It usually occurs in the 5 th month after conceiving. The uterus can appear to be too large. Even the ovaries can look bigger than usual. The incidents of vomiting may also be more than the regular level. The blood tests generally reveal abnormally high levels of hCG. Ultrasound is used for diagnosis in most cases, but resorting to histopathological examination yields better results. The symptoms can sometimes look like those of hyperthyroidism.
After it is confirmed that a woman is carrying a Hydatidiform mole in place of a foetus the doctors usually perform a therapeutic D&C to take it out. If miscarriage occurs this is not required. It is usually removed from the uterus of the afflicted woman by surgical curettage or uterine suction. This is done to evade the threats of developing choriocarcinoma.
After undergoing treatment successfully, the women can conceive without any problem if they desire so. However, it would be advisable for such a woman to conceive after 1 year of getting afflicted with the disorder. The woman requires using good contraception and needs to undergo continuous monitoring by her doctors. Since, the main cause of its occurrence is not very clear, the Hydatidiform moles are quite hard to prevent. But a woman should follow a well balanced diet to reduce the risk of its development.