Information for Patients with Molar Pregnancies or Choriocarcinoma
The importance of hCG Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (the pregnancy test hormone)
The level of the 'hCG' will come to be something of great interest and importance to women who have had a molar pregnancy evacuated.
In normal pregnancies and in all cases of molar pregnancy, the cells make the pregnancy test hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG to give it the short name. This is why women with molar pregnancies have a positive pregnancy test despite not having a normal pregnancy.
Measuring the level of hCG after the evacuation of the molar pregnancy allows the surveillance team to follow exactly what is happening with any molar pregnancy cells left in the uterus. The level of hCG in the blood gives a really accurate picture of what these cells are doing. If the level of hCG is falling then the number of cells are reducing and no treatment is needed, if the level is static or rising then the number of abnormal cells is increasing and additional treatment is generally needed.
In the UK all women who have a molar pregnancy are enrolled into a follow-up programme based on repeated hCG measurements. This allows the medical team to just watch the women in whom the problem is resolving on its own and to quickly call up the women who need treatment as their cells are growing.