A pregnancy in which the normal placental tissue does not develop normally. Another name for this is gestational trophoblastic disease. The abnormal placental tissue grows and often causes enlargement of the uterus that is more rapid than usual. This condition occurs in about 1:1000 pregnancies. It is more common in the early and late years of childbearing. The recurrence in subsequent pregnancies is about 2%.
Symptoms are uterine bleeding, rapid enlargement of the uterus, absence of fetal heart activity, nausea and vomiting. Ultrasound easily diagnoses a molar pregnancy.
A D&C is performed to remove the abnormal tissue. Continued pregnancy puts the mother's health at grave risk. Many doctors recommend postponing pregnancy for at least 1 year after a molar pregnancy.