Ectopic Pregnancy

What is an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which the baby forms outside of the uterus, commonly in one of the fallopian tubes (90% of the cases). Hence, it is also known as “tubal pregnancy”.

Why is the condition so grave? You see, initially, you may see the normal early pregnancy symptoms without knowing that the embryo is developing outside of the womb. Once you do realize it can be a life-threatening emergency.

It is important to know that an ectopic pregnancy cannot survive. If left untreated, the area surrounding the embryo eventually ruptures. So, consult a doctor immediately if you’re pregnant and have any of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.

Causes

  • Infection or inflammation of fallopian tube
  • Previous surgery in tubes or pelvic area, in general
  • Scar tissue from previous infection on the tube
  • Abnormal growth in the tube

Symptoms

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • fainting or feeling faint or suddenly dizzy
  • low blood pressure
  • rectal pressure
  • shoulder pain
  • severe, sharp, sudden pelvic pain

Risk factors

A female having a previous tubal/ectopic pregnancy or pelvic inflammatory disease (due to Chlamydial infection) is more likely to have the condition again. Also, history of smoking, infertility and assisted fertility technology (such as surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization, and fertility medication) increase the chances.

Detection of ectopic pregnancy is done by blood tests for the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone and by ultrasound (if done vaginally gives a better diagnosis).

 

So, consult your doctor/gynecologist and work out a treatment plan that would be beneficial to your/ your loved one’s health.

Treatment

Depending on the stage of pregnancy, medication may be given to absorb the pregnancy tissue

If the tube is ruptured, emergency surgery may be needed

 

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