Symptoms of gestational trophoblastic disease

The signs or symptoms of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) may vary depending on the type of GTD and growth of the tumour. Some women with GTD do not experience any signs and symptoms because blood tests and ultrasounds during standard prenatal care diagnose most types of GTD early, before it causes any signs or symptoms. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as GTD.

The signs or symptoms of GTD include:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding during or after pregnancy
  • swelling of the abdomen at a faster rate than with a normal pregnancy
  • ovarian cysts
  • nausea and vomiting that is often much more frequent and severe than what may occur during a normal pregnancy
  • passing of abnormal tissue resembling a “bunch of grapes” from the vagina
  • high blood pressure early in the pregnancy
  • headaches with or without swelling of the feet and hands at the same time
  • a pregnancy where the baby has not moved at the expected time
  • pain or pressure in the pelvic area
  • low red blood cell counts, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath or an irregular heartbeat
  • feeling anxious or irritable
  • feeling shaky
  • severe sweating
  • problems sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fever
  • coughing up blood
  • dry cough
  • chest pain
  • trouble breathing
  • lump in the vagina
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society . Gestational Trophoblastic Disease . 2014 :
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology . Gestational Trophoblastic Disease . 2014 :
  • Levine DA, Dizon DS, Yashar CM, Barakat RR, Berchuch A, Markman M, Randall ME. Handbook for Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2015.
  • National Cancer Institute. Gestational Trophoblastic Disease Cancer Treatment for Health Professionals (PDQ®). 2015: