A molar pregnancy, or hydatidiform mole, is an abnormal growth in the uterus that begins with conception. If there is a fetus, it is never viable, and always ends in a miscarriage. If you have recently experienced a molar pregnancy, you might be wondering what caused it, and whether you did something wrong.
Potential causes and risk factors of a molar pregnancy
A molar pregnancy is either partial or complete. A partial molar pregnancy happens when an egg is fertilized by two sperm, and a complete happens when an egg containing no genetic information is fertilized by a sperm. In a complete molar pregnancy, there is no fetus.
This type of pregnancy is rare, and happens randomly – even in perfectly healthy women. However, there are a few risk factors that could increase your chance of having one:
Age; the risk increases after 35 years of age
A history of molar pregnancy
A history of miscarriage
A diet low in carotene, a form of Vitamin A
How to increase the odds of a healthy future pregnancy
While a molar pregnancy is completely random, there are a few things you can do to decrease your odds of a repeat occurrence and to increase those of having a healthy future pregnancy.
Follow your doctor’s advice for waiting to conceive again. In most cases this will be at least six months, and many doctors will recommend waiting twelve months. During this time period, your chance of a repeat molar pregnancy is pretty high.
Strive for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding gaining or losing weight, and consider taking any vitamins or supplements she recommends, particularly folic acid. Do these things well before you begin trying to conceive again.
Lose any habits that put your future baby at risk. It is important to do this before trying to get pregnant again. These habits may include heavy drinking, smoking, recreational drugs, and so on. If you drink a lot of coffee or other caffeinated beverages, consider starting to cut back now.
These are just a few ways you can start preparing for any future pregnancies; for more information, please consult with your doctor.
**Disclaimer: The author is not a medical professional, and this article is meant for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
Wake Forest Baptist Health
More from Tonya:
How to deal with your loss after a molar pregnancy
Signs & symptoms of a molar pregnancy