A molar pregnancy occurs when the fertilisation of the egg by the sperm goes wrong and leads to the growth of abnormal cells or clusters of water filled sacs inside the womb. This condition is one of a group of conditions known as gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTTs). Molar pregnancies used to be called hydatidiform mole but now most people call them molar pregnancies. Most molar pregnancies are benign (not cancerous). They can spread beyond the womb in some women, but are still curable.
As so little is understood about how and why hydatidiform moles occur, they're difficult to prevent. However, good healthy nutrition may decrease the risk of one developing and any other common pregnancy complications. Each individual’s case is different but the vast majority of patients begin on Methotrexate. This is also used for arthritis and skin conditions. It is administered by intra-muscular injections followed by a Folinic Acid (NOT folic acid) tablet exactly 24 hours later.
All women of reproductive age who have previously been, or are currently pregnant, are at risk of GTD, however women younger than 16 or older than 40 who become pregnant are more likely than women aged 16-39, to develop a molar pregnancy. An estimated 1-3 in 1000 pregnancies are affected by benign hydatidiform moles; however incidence varies internationally and is highest in the Asian region. Some 10% of all hydatidiform moles will become malignant; an estimated 8-15% of complete and 1.5-6% of partial hydatidiform moles.