Hydatidiform mole

Diagnosis and Testing

What exams or tests will show if I have a hydatidiform mole?

Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to examine the size of the uterus. The uterus may be bigger or smaller than expected with a molar pregnancy. This exam may also show signs of vaginal bleeding. Vaginal bleeding is one symptom of hydatidiform mole. An ultrasound may also be performed. In molar pregnancies, the placenta looks abnormal. It may look like a cluster of grapes on ultrasound. Sometimes a fetus (baby) is present and sometimes it is not. If a fetus is present, it may have birth defects or be smaller than it should be. Your doctor may also draw blood to check your hCG levels. hCG is a pregnancy hormone. It is present in early pregnancy. However, in molar pregnancies, the hCG level is much higher than normal. Talk to your doctor if you have are concerned about molar pregnancy. The type of doctor who manages pregnancy is called an obstetrician. To find an obstetrician near you, use the Find an OB-Gyn tool on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website.

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If I have had recurrent hydatidiform moles, are there genetic tests I can have to try and determine a cause?

If I have had recurrent hydatidiform moles, are there genetic tests I can have to try and determine a cause?

There are two genes that have been linked to recurrent hydatidiform mole. They are called KHDC3L and NLRP7. Testing is available for both of these genes. These tests look at the genes to see if there are any changes (mutations) that would stop the genes from working correctly. You can find information on available genetic tests at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gtr/. A genetic counselor an also help to arrange testing and explain the results. To find a genetic counselor near you, visit the Find a Genetic Counselor tool on the National Society of Genetic Counselors website.

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