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Treatment & beyond

The main treatment for molar pregnancy is surgery to remove the pregnancy tissue.  In most cases, that has already been done by the time the molar pregnancy has been diagnosed and no further treatment is needed.

Some women may need further surgery if there is still tissue remaining or continuing to grow, but this is uncommon.

About one in ten women needs additional drug treatment  (chemotherapy).  In some cases of invasive mole, this may need to be repeated over weeks or months.

Drug treatment is extremely effective, both in complete and partial mole and for the very few women who develop choriocarcinoma.

At 7 April 2020, treatment, follow-up services and any further treatment are operating as normal during the coronavirus pandemic. 

What happens next?

All women who are diagnosed with molar pregnancy are followed up to check that their hCG levels drop back to normal.  Follow-up is done in one of three specialist centres, which are in London, Sheffield and Dundee.  But you probably won’t have to go there yourself, as blood or urine samples can be sent to them by post.

The hCG levels are checked every two weeks on samples of blood and/or urine.  In most women, the levels drop fairly quickly.

With a complete mole:

If your hCG returns to normal within eight weeks, you will then be followed up for a total of six months from the date of your miscarriage surgery.  If it takes longer than eight weeks, you will be followed up for six months from your first normal test result.

With a partial mole:

You will be followed up until four weeks after your hCG returns to normal.  If your hCG doesn’t fall to normal or starts to rise, then your doctor will recommend further treatment.

With an invasive mole:

The chances of having an invasive mole or choriocarcinoma are really very small.  But if you have either, the staff at the follow-up centre will give you clear advice and guidance about further treatment.

In all cases:

You will be advised not to get pregnant while you are still in follow-up.  If you have drug treatment (chemotherapy), you’ll be advised to wait a year after treatment before trying for another pregnancy.

You can find more details about treatment and follow-up in our leaflet on molar pregnancy.

Pregnancy after molar pregnancy

Molar pregnancy doesn’t affect fertility at all.  Many women go on to have healthy babies after a molar pregnancy.

Will I have another molar pregnancy?

It is possible but very unlikely.  The general risk of molar pregnancy is around one in 600.  The chance of your having a second molar pregnancy is around one in 100.  If you have two molar pregnancies, your chance of a third is around one in 7.5.  So you are much more likely to have a healthy pregnancy next time than another molar pregnancy.

Finally

I thought nothing could be more devastating than losing a baby until a month later, when they told me it was a partial molar pregnancy.

Molar pregnancy can be extremely distressing.  It can feel like a series of blows: first a miscarriage, then the diagnosis of molar pregnancy and the anxieties that go along with it – and then the period of follow-up.

It can feel as if you’re stuck, that you can’t move on and begin to recover from your loss, especially if you have to wait longer than you want before trying again.

We talk more about these feelings and where to find support here.