What are the causes and symptoms of a hydatidiform mole?
The cause of hydatidiform mole is unclear; some experts believe it is caused by problems with the chromosomes (the structures inside cells that contain genetic information) in either the egg or sperm, or both. It may be associated with poor nutrition, or a problem with the ovaries or the uterus. A mole sometimes can develop from placental tissue that is left behind in the uterus after a miscarriage or childbirth. Women with a hydatidiform mole will have a positive pregnancy test and often believe they have a normal pregnancy for the first three or four months. However, in these cases the uterus will grow abnormally fast. By the end of the third month, if not earlier, the woman will experience vaginal bleeding ranging from scant spotting to excessive bleeding. She may have hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones causing symptoms such as weight loss, increased appetite, and intolerance to heat). Sometimes, the grapelike cluster of cells itself will be shed with the blood duri