Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants anywhere other than the uterus, mainly in the fallopian tube. This can lead to life-threatening complications because the uterus is only made to hold a growing embryo. So requires emergency treatment.

In rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy can occur in an ovary or the abdominal cavity. It is not a pregnancy that can be carried out till birth. It can be unsafe for the mother if not treated right away.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy?

The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to normal pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, missed period, etc. A pregnancy test taken at this time will show positive results; however, it cannot result in a healthy baby. Ectopic pregnancy’s early signs and symptoms are more noticeable as it grows in the wrong place.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy?

The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy occur between six to ten weeks after fertilization. Other symptoms may include: –

  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Bowel Movement in the Abdomen and Pelvic Area.
  • Tender Breast

Emergency Symptoms in Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic Pregnancy symptoms can be more severe as the pregnancy progress. One should contact the doctor immediately if one notices the following symptoms: –

  • Extreme pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or shoulder
  • Dizziness, Weakness, Fainting, or Shock can occur due to heavy bleeding inside the abdomen or because of the fallopian tube rupture.

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy?

The chances of having an ectopic pregnancy increase in women who have the following: –

  • Having a history of ectopic pregnancy
  • Surgery on a fallopian tube or any other area of the pelvis or abdomen.
  • Pelvis Inflammatory Disease
  • If you had endometriosis
  • Smoking
  • Conception through Assisted reproductive technology
  • Age is over 35 years
  • A congenital disability of the fallopian tube
  • History of Infertility
  • Pregnancy using an intrauterine device.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

How Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed?

Ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed by visiting a doctor’s place. If you have a doubt, see your doctor. They will perform several tests to confirm the pregnancy and look for an ectopic pregnancy. These tests may include the following:

  • Urine Test: -: – These tests check the level of human chronic gonadotropin, a pregnancy hormone the fertilized egg produces after conception. But this may show a false result because the hormone level in ectopic pregnancy is shallow.
  • Blood Test: – Blood tests check the level of a hormone called human chronic gonadotropin (HCG) in your body. HCG is also called a pregnancy hormone.
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound:-Transvaginal ultrasound to check where the fertilized egg has implanted. This involves inserting a wand-like instrument into your vagina so your doctor can see if a gestational sac is in the uterus.

Treatment Options available for Treating Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy happens anywhere outside the uterus, so it cannot result in a successful pregnancy. Because it is impossible to move the embryo to the uterus, its treatment involves ending the pregnancy either by surgery or medication. The doctor can tell you the best which option is best for you.

Medication

There is standard medicine called methotrexate which is used for treating ectopic pregnancy. This medication stops the embryo cells from growing and ends the pregnancy. It is given as an injection and asked for a regular blood test to check the effectiveness of the medicine.

The advantage of this option is that there may not be a need to remove the affected fallopian tube, and you may be able to avoid surgery. The doctor can recommend this option if the fallopian tube has not ruptured. But if you have specific health issues, this medication is not advisable.

You will have symptoms similar to that of miscarriage, including cramping, bleeding, and passing of tissue.

In this treatment, there is no risk of fallopian tube damage that comes with surgery. But you won’t be able to get pregnant for several months after taking this medication.

Surgery

Surgery is needed if the fallopian tube has been damaged. In this, surgeons remove the embryo and repair the internal damage, if any. This process is called a laparotomy.

In this process, the doctor inserts a tiny camera through a small incision so the surgeon can see the area needing treatment. Depending on the fallopian tube condition, it may be removed entirely with the pregnancy or fertilized egg or, if possible, will terminate only the pregnancy. If required, they may also repeat the process with a larger incision if unsuccessful.

What can be Done to prevent Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented, but there are ways to decrease the risk, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Using condoms during sex and limiting the number of sexual partners can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Trying to get pregnant, quit smoking.

Conclusion

If having a history of ectopic pregnancy, then don’t get disheartened. You can still enjoy the feeling of being a mother. Talk to your doctor and always be under their supervision if you get pregnant again. Have a healthy lifestyle and follow your healthcare guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Women given methotrexate may have vaginal bleeding, nausea, abdominal pain, spotting, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, etc.

The doctor can only confirm by performing specific tests. But if one has symptoms like abnormal vaginal bleeding, sharp pain in the abdomen, pelvis, or shoulder, and feeling weak and dizzy should consult the doctor immediately.

It is advisable to wait for at least three months after treating ectopic pregnancy. So that the fallopian tube gets time to heal and decrease another risk of ectopic pregnancy, it is better to ask your doctor.

Yes, you can still get pregnant and have your baby if only one fallopian tube is removed. There is a pair of fallopian tubes in a woman’s body, and if only one is damaged and removed, the woman can get pregnant from the remaining tube.

And in case both are removed, women can still become pregnant because there is assisted reproductive technology called IVF, where the egg is extracted from the ovary and fertilized outside the body—and then placed in the uterus for implantation.

Complications of ectopic pregnancy include rupture of the fallopian tubes leading to bleeding inside the abdomen. This is surgical trouble and requires immediate surgery.

It is recommended to avoid getting pregnant for three to six months after the treatment of ectopic pregnancy. Nearly 60% of women get pregnant naturally after the treatment.

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