Written on 6 April 2022
Ectopic Pregnancy is referred to as the implantation of the embryo at a site other than the uterus. This occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted outside the womb. Mostly, it attaches to the fallopian tube; in a few cases, pregnancy occurs in the ovary, cervix, or the abdominal cavity. This is a life-threatening condition. This kind of pregnancy is not a normal pregnancy that can be carried out till birth, and it can be harmful to the mother if not terminated immediately.
Often, the pain starts if you have a ruptured fallopian tube. Symptoms are light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. If the fallopian tube ruptures and there is heavy bleeding, then there is a need for surgery. The ruptured Fallopian tube and other residues of the pregnancy are then surgically removed.
The following are a few signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy that need immediate medical attention:
There is no clarity on the cause of an ectopic pregnancy. Here are some conditions that have been related to an ectopic pregnancy:
A pelvic exam (ultrasound) and blood test can help your doctor to detect early ectopic pregnancy.
A pregnancy test is performed to check the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormones, which will confirm that you are pregnant. The hormones levels are high during pregnancy. This test is frequently done for a couple of days until an ultrasound can confirm, or the ectopic pregnancy is ruled out. This test is done in about five to six weeks of conception.
A transvaginal ultrasound allows your doctor to see the lower abdomen and locate the implanted embryo and determine whether it is inside or outside the uterus.
To confirm your pregnancy or evaluate for internal bleeding.
Ectopic pregnancy is typically detected early stages of pregnancy. Most cases are found within the first trimester. It is usually discovered in the eighth week of pregnancy.
There are several ways that an ectopic pregnancy can be treated.
Depending on the amount of damage and bleeding and whether the tube has ruptured, the procedure is performed.
Whether you are treated with medicine or surgery, your doctor will want to see you regularly. Your doctor will monitor your hCG levels to make sure they go back to normal. This can take several weeks.
After the surgery, you may experience mild to severe side effects. Your health care professional will talk to you about the possible side effects of surgery for ectopic pregnancy. These may include pain, fatigue, bleeding, and infection. You may feel tired for a few weeks while you recover. You may experience abdominal discomfort or pain. If your pain is not responding to over-the-counter medication, talk to your ob-gyn or your health care professional.
Medical management of ectopic pregnancies has options of avoiding the need for surgery. Mostly, methotrexate is given, often in the form of an injection. It kills the cells growing in the Fallopian tube. It is normally advised if the pregnancy is very early. Here you have the advantage of avoiding the surgery. You will have to be monitored closely with repeated blood tests and scans over several weeks to ensure that they are working well. You will need to have a blood test for hCG every 2-3 days until your levels are low. In some women,
Methotrexate can cause side effects, which include the feeling of nausea and vomiting. After taking methotrexate for 3-7 days, you may experience abdominal pain.
An ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented. You can always try to reduce the risk factors by following a good lifestyle. These can include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, and preventing any sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Talk to your healthcare provider about any risk factors you may have before trying to become pregnant.
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