After a molar pregnancy many couples ask what they can do to minimise the chance of it happening again, or if there is anyway of screening for the problem earlier.
The first thing to realise is that repeated molar pregnancies are rare. The chances of having a second molar pregnancy, in any subsequent pregnancy, is in the order of 1 in 80.
In terms of early diagnosis, it is suggested that an earlier ultrasound is performed in any subsequent pregnancy. This most frequently serves to reassure women that they do in fact have a normal pregnancy. Very occasionally a complete molar pregnancy will be detected at this point, but partial molar pregnancies are difficult to detect at this early point.
It is occasionally asked if using IVF and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is an appropriate idea to consider. Whilst theoretically pre-implantation diagnosis should be able to detect the majority of molar pregnancies in IVF pregnancies, it is not recommended in this situation. IVF is a complex, costly and complicated procedure, not without some modest health issues for the mother and only results in pregnancy in approximately 1/3rd of cycles.
With the risk of a repeat molar pregnancy being so low and the difficulties of using IVF screening in this situation being so significant, this approach is not recommended. Very occasionally, in the very rare women who have a number of repeated molar pregnancies, this can be looked at as a possibility.