Screening for molar pregnancy | Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Screening for molar pregnancy

Men and women discussing gestational trophoblastic tumours

This page has information about screening for molar pregnancy. There is information about


What molar pregnancy is

A molar pregnancy occurs when the fertilisation of the egg by the sperm goes wrong and leads to the growth of abnormal cells or clusters of water filled sacs inside the womb. This condition is one of a group of tumours known as gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTT).


What screening is

Screening means testing for early stages of a disease before there are any symptoms. All pregnant women in the UK have ultrasound scans as part of their routine antenatal care. Ultrasound scans and other tests pick up most molar pregnancies.


Checking for molar pregnancy

The best way to pick up a molar pregnancy early is to have the routine antenatal care provided by your doctor and midwife during pregnancy. They will closely monitor you and do various tests to make sure your baby is developing normally.

Early in your pregnancy you will have an ultrasound scan to look for any abnormalities. The use of ultrasound scans means that most molar pregnancies are now picked up at a very early stage. Ultrasound scans are a good way of diagnosing a complete molar pregnancy, but they are not so good at picking up partial molar pregnancies. Partial molar pregnancies are still likely to be picked up by other routine tests, such as blood tests. Your doctor will also do tests for molar pregnancy if you have any abnormal symptoms.

If you have a miscarriage or abortion, doctors also check the foetal tissue and placenta for any abnormalities. This is the most common way that a partial molar pregnancy is diagnosed.


CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the about molar pregnancy section.


Rate this page:
Submit rating


Rated 3 out of 5 based on 2 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 29 April 2014