Symptoms & diagnosis
Some women don’t have any obvious symptoms of molar pregnancy. Most of the symptoms are due to very high levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG, so they can be very like the usual symptoms of pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms are mainly:
- missed period/s and a strong positive pregnancy test
- feeling very sick and/or vomiting
- vaginal bleeding that’s different from usual. The blood may contain little fluid-filled cysts (like tiny grapes)
- symptoms like those of a miscarriage, including pain and bleeding.
The level of hCG in my body was far beyond anything normal. That explained why I had been feeling so unwell.
How is molar pregnancy diagnosed?
After miscarriage surgery
Most cases of molar pregnancy are diagnosed during routine testing after surgical management of miscarriage.
It can take time before you find out, though. It may be some days or even a few weeks after your miscarriage when you are contacted by letter or telephone. You may be asked to return to see the doctor before you are told any more and this can be a worrying time.
After medical or natural (conservative) manangement of missed or incomplete miscarriage
In some cases, especially if you miscarry at home, it can take longer for molar pregancy to be diagnosed. If you have medical or natural management, you will normally be asked to do a pregnancy test two or three weeks later and if it is still positive, they will advise when to come in for blood tests or a scan.
In some cases, the GP, hospital doctor or the person doing a scan suspects a molar pregnancy. If so, they might refer you for one or more of the following:
- a blood test, to measure your hCG levels (this might be done more than once over a few days)
- an ultrasound scan (unless you have just had one)
- an appointment with a hospital gynaecologist or Early Pregnancy Unit.
If the doctor diagnoses or highly suspects a molar pregnancy, they will recommend that you have surgery to remove any remaining pregnancy tissue. The diagnosis will then be confirmed by laboratory examination.
You can find out about the treatment for molar pregnancy and more here.