Although doctors cannot always explain why a woman develops GTD, there are a number of factors that may increase a women’s risk of developing the disease:
- Age: Since GTD develops from pregnancy this disease only occurs in women in the childbearing age group.
- The risk of developing GTD increases with age, particularly after age 40.
- Prior GTD: Women who have had a previous molar pregnancy or choriocarcinoma are at increased risk of another. For example, a second molar pregnancy occurs ten times more frequently than the first mole.
- Diet: Women whose diets are low in beta carotene or vitamin A appear to have a higher risk of developing complete molar pregnancy.
- Use of Oral Contraceptives: Long-term use of contraceptives appear to increase the risk of partial molar pregnancy.
- Irregular periods: Women who have irregular periods appear to have an increased risk of partial molar pregnancy.
- Fertility problems: Women who have had spontaneous abortions appear to have an increased risk of complete and partial molar pregnancy.