What is Ectopic Pregnancy? Ectopic may be defined as an organ or body part existing in an unusual form or position. Ectopic pregnancy is one which is developing in the wrong place. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg or ovum fails to move down through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Instead, it develops outside the womb. The ovum may attach itself to the fallopian tube, the ovary, cervix, or any other organ within the pelvic and abdominal organ. Most ectopic pregnancies lead to immediate miscarriage, while others need medical attention.
Reasons for Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies occur in women with damaged fallopian tubes. A history of pelvic inflammatory disease, previous surgery, scar tissue, endometriosis, or previous ectopic pregnancies increases the likelihood of such a pregnancy. Chances of ectopic pregnancies increase if you become pregnant while using a contraceptive-coil or a progestogen only contraceptive pill. Even in-vitro fertilizations are known to be ectopic despite the fact that the ovum is directly placed into the womb. The ovum may attach itself somewhere else, leading to ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes, women suffer from this despite not having any of the above risk factors.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
Pain on one side of the abdomen is the first sign of ectopoic pregnancy. This pain is often severe and constant and starts suddenly. Pain in shoulder, which intensifies when breathing in and out, is also a sign of ectopic pregnancy. Pain while using the bathroom may also indicate towards this type of pregnancy. Other symptoms include sickness, diarrhoea, light headedness, paleness, collapse, falling blood pressure, and vaginal bleeding or unusual periods.
An ectopic pregnancy is often difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are that of a normal pregnancy, such as tender breasts, nausea, frequent urination, missed period, and vomiting. However, in case you notice any of the signs discussed above, you must consult your physician immediately.
A urine test may not be a surest way to detect ectopic pregnancy; but a positive result for a specialized HCG blood test will confirm it. An internal pelvic examination will reveal that the womb is smaller in an ectopic pregnancy than in a normal pregnancy at the same stage of pregnancy. A swelling is also a sign of this type of pregnancy. An ultrasound is the safest bet when it comes to detecting this type of pregnancy.
Most ectopic pregnancies need to be surgically treated or need proper medication. Without such medical intervention, the pregnancy can turn fatal to the mother. With technological advancements, it has become a lot easier to detect an ectopic pregnancy. Also, the treatment of such a pregnancy has improved, for example, keyhole surgery. Techniques like laparoscopy or laprotomy can by used to remove the misplaced ovum.
You must understand that even if you have had an ectopic pregnancy, you will be likely to have successful pregnancies in the future. It is advisable to wait for several cycles before attempting to become pregnant again. Most women are known to become pregnant again with a healthy pregnancy as soon as they attempted again.
Category: Healthcare Basics