Hydatidiform molar pregnancy following assisted reproduction

  • M. Nickkho-AmiryEmail author
  • G. Horne
  • M. Akhtar
  • R. Mathur
  • D. R. Brison
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



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.


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


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.


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.


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.




Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyTameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation TrustAshton-under-lyneUK
  2. 2.Department of Reproductive Medicine, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Manchester Academic Health Sciences CentreManchester University NHS Foundation TrustManchesterUK
  3. 3.Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Manchester Academic Health Sciences CentreUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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