December 30, 2015

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Back in October (23rd)  I had my post-op appointment. I was really looking forward to getting the all-clear from my doctor and moving forward with life. Basically putting this little chapter behind us. Emotionally I've been doing really well and getting on with life as usual. Physically I'm doing even better and am 100% back to normal. So, I fully expected to be given a clean bill of health and told we would be able to try again once my cycles resumed. When my doctor came in, she explained that my pathology hadn't come back yet, but that it was possible the pregnancy was a partial molar pregnancy. This was the first time my doctor had mentioned that, so I was pretty surprised. It's a pretty rare condition, from what I've read it occurs in 2-3 of 10,000 pregnancies (not sure how accurate that number is, but it's pretty rare.) Coincidentally one of my good friends (who has my same doctor!) had a partial molar pregnancy once, so I just happened to be familiar with the term. My doctor told me that they would call me with my pathology later this week when it came in, and I had another blood draw before I left.

I'm obviously not a medical expert of any kind, but I've done some research on molar pregnancies, and there are two types. Full molar pregnancies, and Partial Molar pregnancies. In a full molar pregnancy, a sperm fertilizes an empty egg (an egg with no DNA), and a baby does not develop at all (although you will have symptoms of pregnancy and have a positive test), but the placental tissue is abnormal and develops into grape-like cysts.

In partial molar pregnancy, two sperm fertilize an egg at the exact same time, resulting in an embryo with 3 sets of chromosomes (1 from the egg, 2 from each sperm) a total of 69 chromosomes instead of the normal 46. The chromosome abnormalities are not compatible with life, and most are miscarried early on in pregnancy. If there is any placental tissue that is left in the uterus, it can sometimes develop into a type of cancer. You have to be monitored for several months to make sure this isn't happening.

That afternoon, the nurse called and told me it was in fact a partial molar pregnancy. She told me that I would need to come in every 2 weeks until my hcg level is back to zero. Once it hit zero, I would need to come in for 3 consecutive weeks, to make sure it stayed there, and then once a month for 6 months after that. After the 6 months is over, with my level staying at zero we would be cleared to try for another pregnancy.

My level hit zero near the end of November, so that's where we are now. I need to go back in for more blood draws, but I'm pretty confident it will be smooth sailing, especially since my levels dropped to zero fairly quickly.

It was a bit of a shock to find out that it was such a rare condition, but I'm thankful to have an explanation for the miscarriage. Only 1-2% of women go on to experience another partial molar pregnancy, so that's definitely reassuring. I'll list some websites below that I found helpful through this process.

http://miscarriage.about.com/od/pregnancylossbasics/g/partialhydat.htm

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Partial_Molar_Pregnancy


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