When the fertilized egg gets attached in a place that is not the uterus then this is known as ectopic pregnancy. This is also called tubal pregnancy because almost all the cases of ectopic pregnancy happen in the Fallopian tube. The Fallopian tube is not capable of holding an embryo that is growing and thus the fertilized egg cannot develop properly and so has to be treated. The case is rare and happens in 1 out or 50 pregnancies.
Reasons for ectopic pregnancy
Three could be one or many reasons that may cause ectopic pregnancy:
- An inflammation or an infection in the Fallopian tube can cause it to become either partially or completely blocked
- Any scar tissue or a surgical procedure on the fallopian tube could also obstruct the movement of the egg
- Adhesions can be caused because of any previous surgery in the pelvic area or in the tubes
- Any abnormal growth or a birth defect can result in an abnormal shape of the Fallopian tube
Who is at a higher chance of having an ectopic pregnancy
Those who are at a high risk of ectopic pregnancy are:
- Women who are over 35 years of age
- A case of previous ectopic pregnancy
- An abdominal surgery or a previous-pelvic surgery
- A pelvic inflammatory disease
- A number of cases of induced abortions
- Conceiving after the woman has had a tubal ligation
- Under a fertility medication
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy
The symptoms could be as you would expect in a normal pregnancy. However, some signs could be helpful to recognize a case of potential ectopic pregnancy:
- A stabbing and sharp pain that comes and goes in various intensity.
- Heavy or lighter vaginal bleeding as compared to your normal periods
- Some gastrointestinal symptoms
- Fainting, weakness or dizziness
If you feel a sharp pain that stays for more than a few minutes or if you bleed then contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
Your physician can help to diagnose a case of ectopic regency. A pelvic examination will be first done to locate any pain or tenderness. The doctor would also check for amass in the abdomen. An ultrasound may be used to determine if the developing foetus can be seen in the uterus. Also if the hCG level is low then it could be areas on for ectopic pregnancy.
A low progesterone level could also indicate ectopic pregnancy. Another procedure called culdocentesis is performed where a needle is inserted into space at the top of the vagina. This is in front of the rectum and behind the uterus. If there is blood to be found here then its indicated that the Fallopian tube has ruptured and is bleeding.
Conclusion – How can ectopic pregnancy be treated
Ectopic pregnancy can be treated as under:
- Methotrexate is given that helps the body and lets it absorb the pregnancy tissues. It also helps to save the Fallopian tube. This is however depended on the progress of the pregnancy
- If the tube is ruptured and has started to bleed then a part of it or the whole needs to be removed. Emergency surgery may be the only option at times.
- Laparoscopy surgery may be performed by giving the patient general anesthesia.
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