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What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy and Symptoms?

Friday, September 17, 2021

Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the walls of the uterus. During an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus.

An ectopic pregnancy generally takes place in one of the tubes that carry the eggs from the ovary to the uterus (fallopian tubes). Such ectopic pregnancies are also known as tubal pregnancies. In some cases, it is possible to experience an ectopic pregnancy in the abdominal arch, ovary, or neck of the womb (cervix).

An ectopic pregnancy cannot continue normally. The fertilized egg cannot survive and the growing tissue can destroy various maternal structures. If left untreated, it can cause life-threatening bleeding. Early treatment of ectopic pregnancy makes it possible to have healthy pregnancies in the future.

What are the Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy, also known as an ectopic pregnancy, may initially have no signs or symptoms. In other cases, the symptoms of an Ectopic pregnancy may be the same as pregnancy (absence of periods, breast tenderness, nausea, etc.). If you have taken a pregnancy test, the result will be positive. But ectopic pregnancy will not be able to continue normally.

Abdominal or pelvic pain and mild vaginal bleeding are the first signs of an ectopic pregnancy. If the blood is coming from the fallopian tubes, it is possible to feel shoulder pain or difficulty in bowel movements. (Depending on where the blood collects or which nerves are stretched) Heavy vaginal bleeding is rare unless an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the pelvis.

If the fallopian tubes rupture, there may be heavy bleeding in the abdomen followed by lightheadedness, fainting, and shock.

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed? When to go to the doctor if he has symptoms?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy – an ectopic pregnancy – you should seek immediate medical attention:

*Pelvic or abdominal pain with vaginal bleeding
*Extreme lightheadedness or fainting

What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Tubal pregnancy (the most common type) occurs when the fallopian tubes are damaged, misshapen or inflamed, and the fertilized egg does not pass into the uterus. Hormonal imbalances or abnormal fetal development also play a role. In some cases, the cause of an ectopic pregnancy cannot be understood.

What conditions lead to the risk of ectopic pregnancy?

20 out of every 1,000 pregnancies are recorded as ectopic pregnancies. There are many factors related to ectopic pregnancy. E.g:

Previous ectopic pregnancy. If you've had an ectopic pregnancy before, you're more likely to experience it again.

Inflammation or infection. Inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis) or infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes or uterus (pelvic infection disease) increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Frequently, infections are caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Fertility problems. Some studies mention the existence of a relationship between fertility problems and ectopic pregnancy.

Structural disorders. An ectopic pregnancy is more common if you have a structural defect in your fallopian tubes or damage from surgery. Even an operation to straighten the fallopian tubes increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

Birth control choice. With the correct use of the intrauterine device, the risk of pregnancy is rare. But if it does, it will likely be an ectopic pregnancy. It is possible to say the same thing for the pregnancy that may occur after the tubal ligation operation. While pregnancy after tubal ligation is rare, if it does happen it's likely to be External.

What are the Risks of Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy can be risky and have severe consequences. If left untreated, ruptured fallopian tubes cause life-threatening bleeding.

How to Understand an Ectopic Pregnancy, How to Prepare for Your Doctor's Appointment?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, including:
*Pelvic or abdominal pain with vaginal bleeding
*extreme lightheadedness or fainting

If you are experiencing any of the possible symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy (such as abdominal pain or light vaginal bleeding) talk to your doctor. Your doctor may suggest that you seek immediate medical attention. Below you will find information to help you prepare and learn what to expect from your doctor.

What can you do?

If possible, ask a loved one to come with you. In some cases, it can be difficult to remember all the necessary information, especially in an emergency. If you can, it would be good to write down your questions. Simple questions you might want to ask your doctor might include:

*What kind of tests do I need?
*Where is the pregnancy if not in my womb?
*What are the treatment options?
*What are my chances of having a healthy pregnancy in the future?
*How long should I wait before trying to get pregnant again?
*Are there things I should be careful of if I get pregnant again?

In addition to the questions you have prepared, do not hesitate to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.

What to expect from the doctor?

The doctor will ask you questions such as:

*When was the last time you had your period?
*Did you encounter anything unusual in your last period?
*Could you be pregnant?
*Have you done a pregnancy test? If you did, is it positive?
*Do you feel pain?
*Are you experiencing bleeding? If you do, is it light or heavy?
*Do you experience dizziness and loss of balance?
*Have you been pregnant in the past? If you did, what were the results?
*Have you ever had any reproductive surgery, including a fallopian tube operation?
*Have you experienced any sexually transmitted disease?
*Have you had in vitro fertilization?
*If so, what types of birth control methods have you tried?
*Are you planning to become pregnant in the future?
*Are you being treated for any health problem?
*Are you using medication?

Ectopic Pregnancy Tests and Diagnoses

If your doctor suspects an ectopic pregnancy, he or she may do pelvic tests to look for pain, tenderness, fallopian tubes, or any mass in the uterus. Despite this, physical testing is usually not sufficient to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. The diagnosis is confirmed by imaging studies such as ultrasound and a blood test.

With standard ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves are sent directly to the tissues in your abdomen. However, in early pregnancy, your uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to your vagina than to your abdomen. Ultrasound is usually performed with a swab-like device inserted into your vagina.

In some cases, it is too early to detect pregnancy with ultrasound. If the diagnosis is in doubt, your doctor can use various methods, along with blood tests, to confirm an ectopic pregnancy, or wait until the ultrasound results show up, usually 4 to 5 weeks after conception.

In emergencies, for example, if your bleeding is heavy, an ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed and treated surgically.

Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment and Ectopic Pregnancy Medicines

A fertilized egg cannot normally develop outside of the womb. To prevent life-threatening complications, it is necessary to remove the outer tissue.

If an ectopic pregnancy is detected early, the drug is injected, inhibiting cell growth and destroying the enlarged cells. After the injection, your doctor will test your blood for the level of human carionic gonadotropin (HCG). If the HCG level is high, you need another drug injection.

In other cases, an ectopic pregnancy can be treated with laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made in your abdomen near your navel. Next, your doctor will examine the area with a thin tube (laparoscope) with a camera and light. Other instruments may be needed to repair the fallopian tubes and remove the outer tissue, or other small incisions may be made to do this. If the fallopian tubes are severely damaged, they may need to be removed.

If an ectopic pregnancy is causing heavy bleeding due to ruptured fallopian tubes, you may need urgent surgery with an abdominal incision (laparotomy). In some cases, the fallopian tubes cannot be repaired. Generally, removal of the ruptured fallopian tube is necessary.

In some cases, an injection of medication may be required after surgery.

Preventing Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented, but risk factors can be reduced. For example, you should use condoms to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and to prevent pelvic inflammation.

If you've had an ectopic pregnancy, talk to your doctor before trying to conceive again. Your doctor will monitor the situation when you become pregnant. Early blood tests and ultrasound scans will help to identify another ectopic pregnancy or to understand that the pregnancy is correct.

Coping and support

Losing a pregnancy, even for a few days, can be devastating. Accept your loss and give yourself time to recover. Talk about how you feel and allow yourself to be fully experienced. Turn to your loved ones, spouse, and friends for support. You can also turn to a psychologist, support group, or counselor for help.

Many women who have had an ectopic pregnancy are able to have a healthy pregnancy again. If one fallopian tube is damaged or removed, the egg can implant into the uterus using the other fallopian tube. If both fallopian tubes are damaged or removed, in vitro fertilization may be an option. In the in vitro fertilization method, mature egg cells are fertilized in the laboratory and placed in the uterus.

Before getting pregnant again, get your doctor's advice. Early blood tests and ultrasound scans will help to identify another ectopic pregnancy or to understand that the pregnancy is correct.

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