Ectopic pregnancy is one which occurs outside the uterus. It is a life threatening condition and needs to be identified and managed promptly and effectively.
In a pregnancy, the fertilized egg will travel via the fallopian tube in to the uterus. In case the movement of the egg tends to get impeded in the fallopian tubes, it causes an ectopic pregnancy.
- Age over 35 years
- Infertility treatments
- Multiple sexual partners
- A congenital defect in the fallopian tubes.
- History of a former ectopic pregnancy.
- Pregnancy occurring whilst having an intrauterine device.
- Tubal ligation or surgery to untie the tubes in order to conceive.
- Scarring due to a past infection or surgery of the female reproductive system.
By and large, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in one of the two fallopian tubes. Seldom, it may occur in the abdomen, ovary or cervix.
Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy manifests as:
- Lower back pain
- No periods
- Giddiness and fainting
- Low blood pressure
- Pain in the shoulder area.
- Undue pressure in the rectum.
- Mild cramping and pain on one side of the pelvis.
- Eventually, the pain becomes sharp, excruciating, and sudden pain in the lower abdomen.
Your health care provider will conduct a pelvic examination. There will be tenderness in the pelvic area. A pregnancy test as well as an ultrasound needs to be carried out.
HCG is a hormone that is synthesized during pregnancy. Checking its level in the blood helps diagnose and ascertain the pregnancy. In case the blood level of the HCG hormone is not increasing adequately, your health care provider may doubt an ectopic pregnancy.
Treatment For Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a life threatening state. It is not possible to continue to full term. The embryo has to be removed in order to save the woman’s life.
Emergency medical help is essential in case the ectopic pregnancy ruptures. Rupture results in bleeding and shock, and the treatment – management comprises of:
- Transfusion of blood
- Fluids administered intravenously
- Keeping warm
- Raising the legs
- Supplying oxygen
Surgical intervention is very necessary to stop blood loss, put an end to the pregnancy and save the person’s life. In some cases, it may even be necessary to remove the fallopian tube.
Recovery After Ectopic Pregnancy
One out of 3 women who have had an ectopic pregnancy is able to have a baby later on. But, you need to bear in mind that recurrence is possible and another ectopic pregnancy is likely to occur. Also, some women do not become pregnant again.
The probability of a successful pregnancy after having an ectopic one depends up on:
- The age of the woman.
- If she already has any children.
- The cause of the first ectopic pregnancy.
Call your doctor in case you have:
- Pain in the pelvis or lower part of the abdomen.
- After ascertaining that you are pregnant.
Most forms of ectopic pregnancy occurring outside fallopian tubes are not preventable. On the other hand, experts say that you could decrease your risk by steering clear of conditions that scar your fallopian tubes. These include:
- Make sure that you practice safe sex, this will help you prevent getting an infection.
- Early diagnosis and treatment of all infections caused by sexual relations.
- Quit smoking