Molar Pregnancy: What is it and why does it happen?

lead image

Imagine praying for a baby and having to wait for a while before your miracle happens. Then one day the home pregnancy test confirms that your wish has been fulfilled—you are finally having a baby!

You go through most of the pregnancy expecting that your baby will come at nine months like everyone else’s baby. Life goes on for you as an expectant mom, until you discover that there will be no baby as you are not pregnant. What if it was a cancerous tumour growing inside you all along?

Giving birth to a tumour is not fiction. It happened to Lauren Knowles, a woman who delivered a big tumour she had thought all along was a baby. What happened to her is called a molar pregnancy.

Lauren’s molar pregnancy story

Lauren was excited to discover she was pregnant—that’s what her home pregnancy test showed her, anyway.

Unfortunately, she began to experience heavy spotting after about seven weeks of pregnancy. This made her go to the hospital for a check-up, and her doctor was quick to recommend a scan.

The scan showed a bitter truth: Lauren wasn’t having a baby. Her pregnancy was actually a cancerous tumour growing inside her body. These abnormal cells growing inside her were cancerous.

Lauren’s molar pregnancy struggles

The cancer diagnosis left her shattered, but Lauren still needed to undergo chemotherapy. Doctors also performed surgery on her and took out most of the tumor. Unfortunately, these treatments did not completely get rid of her cancer, as the cancer came back and grew even faster than before.

According to Lauren Knowles, the tumour grew in her uterus much like a pregnancy. Her pregnancy tests were always positive because the tumour was producing hormones normally associated with pregnancy.

Initially, she didn’t think it was cancer, but the spotting and subsequent scans revealed her worst nightmare.

After five months had passed, Laura’s molar pregnancy started causing intense stomach cramps. She began to feel an intense urge to push out the ‘baby’.

“I lost all my hair during chemotherapy,” Lauren says. After five weeks of ‘pregnancy’, I gave birth to the tumour in the toilet.” She goes on.

She pushed out the tumour without assistance, and it came out as big as a baby at 17 weeks. Lauren recalls a huge sense of relief coming over her immediately the tumour came out.

The Molar Pregnancy wasn't the end

Her doctors believed that the tumour had damaged her womb. They informed Lauren and her husband that they may never get pregnant again because of the extensive damage. Contrary to everyone’s expectation, Lauren got pregnant with her second child barely a year after her molar pregnancy.

Despite her fear that she could have another molar pregnancy, Lauren gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby.

Molar pregnancy

Molar pregnancy: who is at risk?

Molar pregnancies are extremely rare. One out of 1000 women suffers from a molar pregnancy. This disease might be rare, but it is very important for you to know what to look out for to rule out this disease.

These are the signs that could help you know if it is a molar pregnancy:

• When the hCG hormone level is higher than that of a real pregnancy

• Vaginal bleeding or heavy spotting during pregnancy

• Pregnancy bump growing bigger even when there is no baby movement in the uterus

• Thyroid disease could also point to a molar pregnancy

• Showing symptoms of high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in pregnancy

• Vomiting and nausea

These signs can help you know if are carrying a molar pregnancy, but an ultrasound if the only way to make sure.

 

Resources: WebMD

NYPost

Also Read: What is ectopic pregnancy?

Written by

Julie Adeboye