What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?
When a fertilised egg develops outside of a woman's uterus, in yet another part of her abdomen, it is referred to as an extrauterine pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. It requires immediate medical attention since it may induce bleeding that is fatal.
The egg implants in a fallopian tube more often than not (more than 90% of the time). It's known as a tubal pregnancy.
Where Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Happen?
Anytime the fertilised egg implants outside of your uterus, the pregnancy is regarded as ectopic. The egg is intended to pass via your fallopian tubes and embed itself in the uterine wall, where it can start to develop. The egg implants in one of the structures along the way during an ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are where this can occur most frequently. The majority of ectopic pregnancies, also known as tubal ectopic pregnancies, occur here. Additionally, various abdominal organs may receive an implanted fertilised egg. It is uncommon for an ectopic pregnancy to occur in a fallopian tube like this.
What Causes An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancies can have unexplained causes. The following conditions have occasionally been connected to an ectopic pregnancy:
Fallopian tube inflammation and scarring brought on by a past medical illness, infection, or surgery
Medical diseases that have an impact on the reproductive organs' form and health
More detailed information about your situation can be available from your doctor.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
You might not initially experience any symptoms. However, some women who experience an ectopic pregnancy also experience the typical early pregnancy signs and symptoms, such as a missed period, breast soreness, and nausea.
The result of a pregnancy test will be "positive." An ectopic pregnancy still can't proceed normally.
Signs and symptoms become more obvious when the fertilised egg grows in the incorrect location.
Ectopic Pregnancy Early Warning
Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain are frequently the first signs of an ectopic pregnancy. You can experience shoulder pain or the urge to urinate if blood seeps from the fallopian tube. Your particular symptoms depend on which nerves are stimulated and where the blood accumulates.
Emergency Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
The fallopian tube may burst if the fertilised egg is allowed to grow farther inside it. It's conceivable that the abdomen may bleed heavily. Extreme dizziness, fainting, and shock are symptoms of this potentially fatal incident.
When to Visit a Doctor
If you experience any of the warning signs or symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, such as:
Severe pelvic or abdominal discomfort accompanied with vaginal bleeding
Excessive dizziness or fainting
Causes and Risk Factors of Ectopic Pregnancy
The chances that an egg will implant in the fallopian tube are increased by anything that prevents or interferes with a fertilised egg's safe passage through the tube (such as scarring). Therefore, a person may be more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy if:
If had an ectopic pregnancy before
Prior surgery in the pelvis or abdomen
STD (sexually transmitted disease)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Endometriosis, a condition in which tissue similar to the uterine lining develops in the pelvic cavity without the uterus.
The IUD (intrauterine device) was in use when the pregnancy started
A history of smoking cigarettes
Advanced age (older than 35)
However, the truth is that roughly 50% of women who experience an ectopic pregnancy have no identified risk factors.
How Is Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, your doctor will usually use a combination of blood tests and ultrasound images. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the blood are measured during a pregnancy test; in an ectopic pregnancy, hCG levels are often lower than they would be during a typically developing pregnancy, and they rise at a slower-than-normal rate after implantation. Because of this, hCG is frequently measured multiple times. The implanted embryo can be found and its location and uterine location can be determined by an ultrasound scan of the lower abdomen.
Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment
Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy cannot be saved or transferred into the uterus.
Treatment is determined by the size of the embryo, the degree of conclusiveness of the diagnosis, and any problematic symptoms such as pain or internal bleeding. Medication or surgery will be used for treatment.
Prevention of Ectopic Pregnancy
Although there is no way of preventing an ectopic pregnancy, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk:
Utilizing a condom during sex and limiting the number of sexual partners helps to prevent STDs and may lower the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Avoid smoking. If you do, stop before attempting to conceive.