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Pregnancy Topics..

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

Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is the pregnancy occurred outside uterus. Read on to know what ectopic pregnancy is.

The journey of pregnancy starts when a sperm produced by a male fertilises an ovum produced by a female. At the very moment of the fusion of the sperm and ovum, a new life starts developing. The fertilised egg requires enough space to grow, thus it travels through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. In a normal pregnancy the fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterine wall where it grows further. But sometimes this may not be so and a woman may have to deal with complications in her pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is one form of complicated pregnancies.

What is ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy is pregnancy outside the uterus. In most cases, it is pregnancy inside the fallopian tube. Rarely an embryo may get implanted in other tissues like cervix, ovaries, and abdomen.Ectopic pregnancy has to be removed. It cannot be carried on. It may risk the life of a mother. Getting diagnosed and treated on time will increase the chances of normal pregnancy in the future.

Causes of ectopic pregnancy

Though the exact causes of ectopic pregnancy are not clear, excessive smoking, use of fertility drugs before conception, previous tubal pregnancy, and the use of IUD are some of the causes of ectopic pregnancy. Women who opt for pregnancy after the age of 35 are prone to face many complications including ectopic pregnancy.

A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like Chlamydia and gonorrhea, may be the cause of ectopic pregnancy. Pelvic inflammatory disease may cause minor damages to the fallopian tubes, thus increasing the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

Surgeries such as appendix removal and caesarian increase the chances of complications in the pregnancy. Infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube may obstruct the way of the fertilised egg heading towards the uterus. Thus the fertilised egg will end up implanting itself in the fallopian tube.

Use of the oral contraceptives, irregular shape of the fallopian tubes, previous abortion may increase the risk of the ectopic pregnancy.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy

Early symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are hard to detect but a few important signs can be helpful to raise an alarm. Seeking timely medical intervention can make a big difference. The following symptoms may or may not occur only in the case of an ectopic pregnancy but reporting to a doctor can help identify the problem and deal with it.

  • Acute pain in the lower abdomen

  • Pain in the lower back, pain while urinating and during bowel movement

  • Pelvic pain

  • Dizziness

  • Mild vaginal bleeding
A woman who is unaware about her pregnancy may mistake an ectopic pregnancy for menstrual blood. Signs of ectopic pregnancy can also be mistaken as symptoms of miscarriage. Increased heartbeats, fainting and sweating are some other signs of ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy diagnosis

A doctor will carry a pelvic examination to detect how severe the condition is. An ultrasound test helps to detect the development of the foetus. An ultrasound test using either handheld probe or the probe meant to be inserted in the vagina will detect ectopic pregnancy.

A physician will probably perform a laparoscopy to verify ectopic pregnancy. Occurrence of a tubal abortion or a tubal rupture may make it difficult to detect a pregnancy tissue. A lower HCG level and lower level of progesterone are indications of abnormal pregnancy.

A physician may consider culdocentesis to diagnose ectopic pregnancy. Culdocentesis is a procedure where a needle is inserted into the space at the very top of the vagina, behind the uterus and in front of the rectum. The existence of blood in this part may signify bleeding from a ruptured fallopian tube.

Ectopic pregnancy treatment

Methotrexate is given to stop the development of the foetus and to let the body absorb the pregnancy tissues. Emergency surgery may be carried out where the damaged fallopian tube will be removed and control the bleeding. Laparoscopic surgery is performed to remove ectopic pregnancy and to repair the functioning of the fallopian tube.

Ectopic pregnancy does affect fertility. It may increase the chances to have an ectopic pregnancy again. Early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy will possibly ensure the safety of the mother's life. There are many women who have normal deliveries after a history of ectopic pregnancies. Trust your health care provider who is the best one to guide you through your pregnancy. Complications are part of life and you have to overcome them. Do not lose faith. Remember, faith will move mountains.

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Sona.1 year ago
An ectopic pregnancy happens when the prepared egg appends itself in a spot other than inside the uterus. Practically all ectopic pregnancies happen in the fallopian tube and are along these lines now and again called tubal pregnancies. The fallopian tubes are not intended to hold a developing incipient organism; in this way, the prepared egg in a tubal pregnancy can't grow legitimately and must be dealt with. An ectopic pregnancy occurs in 1 out of 50 pregnancies.

Sharda.7 years ago
I am 1 month pregnant and am having severe pain in my shoulder tip. i am unable to do much movement. Is this because of ectopic pregnancy? What can i do to get relief?
Melvin.7 years ago
Ectopic is difficult to diagnose as it can suggest some other diseases such as gastroenteritis, appendicitis. It can also be an indication of miscarriage.
Pihu.7 years ago
Very nice information.....good to know about the symptoms and diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. it is very difficult for a layman to diagnose it....
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Have you had an ectopic pregnancy? What kind of symptoms did you witness? Do you know of anyone who overcame an ectopic pregnancy?
aj raj aj raj
I had an ectopic pregnancy, i came on my period very lightly and presumed it was still a period, never gave it another thought, slowly i started feeling dizzy,sick,sleepy, dry mouth and pain on my rig...
read reply
aj raj aj raj
you never overcome an ectopic, it stays with you for the rest of your life, seeing your dream on a scan and the heart beat etc then being told " it has to come out or you will die" knowing you have ...
read reply
Sangeetha Sangeetha
You should go to the doctor as soon as possible. A tubal pregnancy could be life threatening. Go to the doctor and get checked out, even if you come up fine, at least you will know you are okay. Well ...
read reply
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