Ectopic Pregnancy, Symptoms, and Treatment

In a healthy pregnancy, one of the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tube that stays there for 24 hours in the wait for a sperm to fertilize it. After that, the fertilized egg remains in the fallopian tube for the next three to four days. It then travels down to the uterus for an implantation into the uterine wall and remains attached until the delivery.

Ectopic Pregnancy– It is an abnormal pregnancy, wherein the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube or somewhere else prominently due to a damaged fallopian tube.

There can be multiple other reasons-

  • Conceiving with a ligated tube or when IUD (intrauterine device) is in place.
  • History of Ectopic pregnancy.
  • Endometriosis
  • Smoking
  • Using fertility drugs or undergoing fertility treatment
  • Conceiving in the age of 35-44 years
  • History of pelvic or abdominal surgery.
  • PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
  • STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease)

Symptoms- Ectopic pregnancy occurs in the starting weeks of pregnancy without you even knowing that you are pregnant. You can observe some distinct symptoms along with the typical pregnancy symptoms to establish the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.

  • Pain occurrences with varying intensity in pelvis, abdomen, shoulder, and neck.
  • Lighter or heavier vaginal bleeding compared to the normal (due to the rupturing of fallopian tube)
  • Weakness, dizziness, or even fainting
  • Vomiting with pain
  • Nausea
  • Piercing abdominal cramps
  • Lightheadedness

Treatment: Since the fertilized egg cannot develop into a baby anywhere outside the uterus, it along with the tissue needs a removal. Ectopic pregnancy can be treated with two methods depending on its severity and the progress it made before the diagnosis.

  • Medication- If the ectopic pregnancy is caught before your fallopian tube has ruptured, it can be treated simply using methotrexate (Trexall) injection. This will stall the growth of cells and will induce the body to absorb them.
  • Surgery- This method could be required in cases the ectopic pregnancy has made a good The doctor will perform ‘Laparoscopy’ wherein a thin flexible instrument; laparoscope is inserted by making an incision in your lower abdomen to extract out the ectopic pregnancy and the damaged fallopian tube.

In cases where the fallopian tube has ruptured leading to heavy bleeding, you will need an even bigger surgical procedure; Laparotomy.

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