Hydatidiform molar pregnancy following assisted reproduction

M Nickkho-Amiry, G Horne, M Akhtar, R Mathur, D R Brison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The use of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) is increasing; however, reports of molar pregnancy following ART remain scarce. Currently, the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) collates data on the molar pregnancies that have resulted through the use of ART. Recently, they have indicated that they will no longer collect these data.

AIM: This paper aimed to examine the incidence of molar pregnancy amongst patients undergoing assisted reproduction.

METHODS: We contacted HFEA and placed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) for the number of molar pregnancies that resulted from fresh/frozen embryo transfer since HFEA started collecting data in 1991 to February 2018. We also asked how many patients who had suffered a molar pregnancy went on to have a normal pregnancy and how many had subsequent molar pregnancies, in subsequent treatment cycles.

RESULTS: Between 68 and 76 molar pregnancies occurred within this period using ART (n = 274,655). The incidence of molar pregnancy using fresh intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (1/4302) and fresh in vitro fertilisation (IVF) (1/4333) was similar. The risk of recurrence of molar pregnancy following a previous molar was higher following ART compared to spontaneous conceptions.

CONCLUSION: The use of ICSI should be protective against triploidy; however, the retrospective data suggests that molar pregnancy is not eliminated with the use of ART. It is pertinent to continue to record this data, through the gestational trophoblastic disease centres, in order to ensure no further increase in incidence, appropriate follow-up, and transparency in communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-671
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Adult
  • Chorionic Villi/physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro/adverse effects
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted/adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic/adverse effects
  • Triploidy


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