The impact of molar pregnancy on the male partner

Psychooncology. 2012 Sep;21(9):970-6. doi: 10.1002/pon.1992. Epub 2011 May 24.


Background: Molar pregnancy is a complication of 1 in 200-2000 pregnancies whereby abnormal placental tissue proliferates in the absence of a fetus and may lead to metastases. The disease origin lies in dispermy or dual fertilisation of the egg. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of molar pregnancy upon the male partner.

Methods: Institutional ethics committee approval and individual consent were obtained. All women listed on the state molar pregnancy database who were receiving active follow-up (n = 102) and a random sample of women who had been registered in the previous 30 years (n = 56) were sent a postal survey outlining the purpose of the study and an invitation for their partner to participate. Sixty-six women gave permission for their partner to participate in the study. Questionnaires included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Sexual History Form 12. Responding partners were also invited to make comments about any aspect of particular concern. A reminder mail out was issued after 6 weeks.

Results: The response rate was 62% (N = 41). The key findings were that 32.5% and 12.5% of men met the case criteria for anxiety and depressive disorder, respectively. These figures represent a doubling of usual community rates for anxiety disorder. However, overall quality of life and sexual functioning outcomes were consistent with community samples. The presence of children played a protective role and was associated with significantly better psychological function and quality of life in univariate and multivariate analysis. Qualitative results complemented the quantitative data, with anxiety as the dominant emotional theme.

Conclusion: There are high persisting levels of anxiety in male partners of women with molar pregnancy. Partners may benefit from therapy where anxiety disorders are detected.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / epidemiology
  • Hydatidiform Mole / psychology*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouses / psychology
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Young Adult