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Ectopic Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

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Ectopic Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Posted on 07/17/2023 by Dr. Tripti Dadhich



Introduction

Pregnancy is one of the most joyous and wonderful experiences. But, there is an unfortunate reality that some women get to experience complications causing hazardous situations for both the mother and the baby. One such condition is ectopic pregnancy which requires timely medical attention and understanding. 

In this blog, we are aiming to offer you with right and updated information, which will assist you in understanding this problematic condition. The information will also help countless females to make better decisions about their reproductive health. 

Kindly note that the information given here is not an alternative for clinical advice. If you suspect any symptoms linked to ectopic pregnancy, make sure to get medical attention immediately by consulting the professionals of Rukmani Birla Hospital in Jaipur. You will find the most exceptional patient care, diagnosis, and treatment solutions here.

What is ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs outside the female uterus and it happens when a fertilized egg is implanted in a location that has no efficiency for supporting its growth. Usually, this kind of pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube. They are more likely to happen in the ovary, cervix, and abdominal cavity.

Ectopic pregnancy is known to be dangerous for both mother and the baby, mainly if the fallopian tube is ruptured. Ruptured ectopic pregnancy can lead to too much bleeding, infection, and death, at times. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

What are the ectopic pregnancy symptoms?

The initial ectopic pregnancy symptoms are quite similar to normal pregnancy. However, there are symptoms that should be noticed during an ectopic pregnancy to consider timely treatment. Here are the symptoms: 

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back
  • Dizziness 
  • Weakness

If the fallopian tube is ruptured, the pain and bleeding can lead to additional symptoms which include: 

What are ectopic pregnancy causes?

In the majority of cases, the primary ectopic pregnancy cause is conditions slowing down or blocking down the egg movement in the fallopian tube. It occurs because of certain reasons which are: 

  • The patient has scar tissues, inflammation, or adhesions from an earlier pelvic surgery
  • The fallopian tubes are damaged due to sexually transmitted infections 
  • The patient is born with a fallopian tube that is irregularly-shaped 
  • The growth is blocking the fallopian tube

How do you know if you are at risk of ectopic pregnancy?

There are various risk factors of ectopic pregnancy that can put you at risk. You are at high risk for ectopic pregnancy in the following situations:

  • An earlier ectopic pregnancy experience 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease history
  • Fallopian tubes surgery or on any other pelvic area 
  • Infertility history
  • In-vitro fertilization treatment for infertility
  • Endometriosis 
  • Smoking tobacco history
  • IUD placed at the conception time 
  • Sexually transmitted infections

How is ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

Most females aren’t aware of ectopic pregnancy until their visit to the doctor for a prenatal appointment which involves ultrasound or bloodwork. The doctor might suspect ectopic pregnancy depending on what happens at the time of appointment. 

For ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, the doctor will involve performing various tests. It might include pregnancy confirmation and a pelvic exam. Here are other tests for diagnosing ectopic pregnancy: 

  • A urine test is ordered to confirm a natural or ectopic pregnancy. 
  • Blood tests are also ordered to check HCG levels as the body produces HCG during pregnancy. Low levels of HCG are an indication of ectopic pregnancy. 
  • An ultrasound exam is ordered as it helps in viewing the body’s internal structures and images and helps in understanding the location of an implanted fertilized egg. 
  • Transvaginal ultrasound is also recommended for ectopic pregnancy diagnosis as it generates pictures of ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.

What are the options for ectopic treatment?

When it comes to the options for ectopic treatment, then depending on the symptoms, the doctor might involve the use of medications, laparoscopic or abdominal surgery. Here is how ectopic pregnancy is treated: 

  • Medication is recommended to treat unstable bleeding. Methotrexate is the medicine that is often recommended as it helps in stopping the growth of cells and dissolving present cells. It is given in a form of an injection and an HCG test is also ordered again to know if the treatment is working or not. 
  • Laparoscopic procedures- There are two laparoscopic surgeries that involve Salpingostomy and salpingectomy. These two surgeries are used for viewing the tubal area and removing ectopic pregnancy.
  • Emergency surgery is involved when ectopic pregnancy is causing very heavy bleeding. It is performed laparoscopically or via an abdominal incision. In certain cases, fallopian tubes are saved, but a ruptured tube should be removed.

Conclusion

An ectopic pregnancy can be unanticipated and scary at the same time. It is natural to feel various emotions like shock, sadness, grief, and anxiety. It can be very traumatic to experience ectopic pregnancy even though it is an unplanned pregnancy. Hence, talking to a mental professional or healthcare expert can be useful to navigate these feelings. If you are planning pregnancy, make sure to consult experts in Rukmani Birla Hospital in Jaipur to know your risk for ectopic pregnancy. You will find professionals who will not only offer the best diagnosis and treatment but also exceptional patient care.

FAQ -

 

When does ectopic pregnancy pain start?

The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy begin to appear within 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. 

How to prevent ectopic pregnancy?

There is nothing you can do to prevent ectopic pregnancy except limit the number of partners you have sexual intercourse with and use a condom before getting intimate. 

How to detect ectopic pregnancy early?

You can detect ectopic pregnancy early if you notice symptoms like heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, pain in the lower abdomen, discomfort when peeing, and brown watery discharge.