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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Complications during Pregnancy > Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy can be risky and as such early diagnosis and treatment is a must. Read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes and treatments for ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy must be diagnosed and treated at the earliest as it can cause a lot of threats to the expecting mother. It can be traumatic for those who have trouble conceiving. But, by undergoing right treatment and taking precautions, it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy. Being aware of the facts about ectopic pregnancy is also very important. Let us take a look at some important facts about ectopic pregnancy.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

A tubal or ectopic pregnancy is one that occurs outside the uterus. Usually, in such cases, a fertilized egg is implanted in the Fallopian tube, instead of in the uterine cavity. The occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy is about 2 in a 100. This condition is probably caused by some irregularity in the Fallopian tube that obstructs the passage of the egg into the uterus. The chances of a fertilized egg being implanted in the ovary, abdominal cavity or the cervix are extremely rare.

What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy?
  • Moderate to severe pains in the region of the lower abdomen that may initially begin on one side, but may spread to the entire abdominal area.

  • Spotting or light bleeding may occur a few days or weeks before the onset of pain.

  • The bleeding may become heavy if the tube ruptures.

  • 25-50% of women may experience nausea and vomiting that may be difficult to distinguish from morning sickness.

  • Dizziness, weakness and fainting

What are the implications of an ectopic pregnancy?

It is imperative that this condition be diagnosed and treated at the earliest. If this condition remains undetected, the pregnancy will continue to grow in the tube leading to the rupture of the tube. Consequently, fertilized eggs will not be able to travel through the tube to the uterus in future conceptions. An untreated ruptured tube could endanger the mother's life.

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

The level of the hormone hCG in the mother's blood is an indicator of an ectopic pregnancy. Pregnancy test results that show that the level of hCG hormone in the mother's blood has fallen or has not risen with the progress of pregnancy, indicate an abnormal pregnancy. An ultrasound may reveal the absence of a gestational sac in the uterus or the development of a pregnancy in the Fallopian tube. A laparoscopy enables the doctor to view the tubes directly and confirm the diagnosis.

How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?

An ectopic pregnancy is treated through surgery with a laparoscope. The surgical procedure is determined by the location of the ectopic pregnancy. Pregnancies near the open end of the tube can often be removed without cutting the tube, while those nearer to the uterus must be cut out. Ectopic pregnancies that occur in the part of the tube contained within the wall of the uterus are called interstitial pregnancies. In such cases, the doctors may have no choice but to perform a hysterectomy, i.e. the uterus itself will have to be removed along with the tube and the products of conception.

Recently, an anticancer drug called methotrexate is being administered as an alternative to surgery. It works by putting a stop to cell growth. Consequently, the pregnancy is destroyed.

What are the common causes of ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy may take place due to the damage caused to the fallopian tubes due to tubal sterilization reversal, caesarean section, surgery to open blockage in tubes or damage caused to them due to the untreated sexually transmitted infections. Through some studies it has also been found that ectopic pregnancies are common in women with low progesterone levels. Women who smoke also have a greater risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy. Some of the fertility medications also increase the chances of women developing ectopic pregnancy.

If you think that you may be at risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy due to the any of the above mentioned reasons, you must talk to your doctor. He or she may suggest appropriated treatment to prevent ectopic pregnancy. There is no need to worry as it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with right and timely medical intervention and management.

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alli.10 years ago
i am first month pregnant and have pain in the both sides of lower abdomen,my doctor advised me for the it safe to go for ultrasound in the very first month of pregnancy?
LJS.10 years ago
i had two ectopic pregnancies. one in left and another in right.
is there is any future for me?
i am very much deprressed.
Dee.10 years ago
hi i am 6 weeks pregnant and i am getting lower abdominal pain 5-6times a day. it lasts only for 2-3 seconds. is it a cause to worry? i did not have any kind of bleeding or dizziness
jackie.10 years ago
hello, i am 19 years old and i recently had an ectopic pregnancy. on my left tube half of the tube was removed. but i had two pregnancies before this one but one was a spontanous missedcarrige and the second one was a missed abortion at 12 weeks. is there a possibility that i will be able to have children? thank you.
khan.10 years ago
even i have been thru this bad phase i also had an ectopic pregnancy it was in the left tube... it was very bad n very painful... i pray to god no body shud go thru what i went thru...
rajes.10 years ago
i have gone for ectopic pregnancy on my left tube.can i go my secong pregnancy by normaol delivery or caeserian.pls help me....
tia.10 years ago
i am feeling dizzy,had some bleeding intermittently with moderate pain in abdomen each time i travelled,gone for tvs,doctor told no gestational sac is seen.i had positive home pregnancy test.i am confused whether i have ectopic pregnancy?pls help
SHIVANI.10 years ago
i had two ectopic pregnancies. one in left and another in right.first was treated medically and this time my right tube is removed........ is there any future for me? i am very much deprressed.
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