What is Ectopic Pregnancy?
In a conventional pregnancy, the sperm and egg fertilize in the fallopian tube and are implanted in the spongy endometrial lining in the uterus. The lining provides all the necessary for the egg. However in the Ectopic pregnancy fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, ectopic pregnancy also called tubal pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy looks like a normal one, but as it progresses, it can be painful and needs to be terminated. Almost 2% of the pregnancies are Ectopic Pregnancy in the world, an Ectopic pregnancy is much dangerous than it sounds as it could prove to be fetal to the mother. Thus, it is extremely important to keep a eye on odd symptoms and consult with your doctor immediately.
What are risk factors of ectopic pregnancy?
There are few risk factors that cause an ectopic pregnancy:
- If you are undergoing medication or fertility treatment, you have an increased risk because during treatment, the fallopian tube enlarges for the embryos to be transported. This dilation may become counterproductive and may lead to ectopic pregnancy.
- Past induced abortions can also increase the risk as the internal organs might be injured.
- A previous tubal ligation can disrupt conception by altering the fallopian tube.
- All observed cases of ectopic pregnancies were found to be within 35 to 44 age of women.
- In case if you had abdominal or pelvic surgeries can poses the risk of damage to the fallopian tubes and may lead to an ectopic pregnancy.
- If endometrial tissues grows in other places rather than in uterus than it may cause a ectopic pregnancy.
- Smoking affects the ability of the fallopian tube to function normally and transports the fertilized eggs to the uterus, which cause ectopic pregnancy.
- If a previous pregnancy is ectopic than again it can be a chance to be ectopic cause one ectopic pregnancy causes tissue damage of uterus.
Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
- Excessive vaginal bleeding
- Light headache and dizziness
- Clammy and pale skin like in anemia
- Signs of shock
- Heartbeat greater than 100/min
- Shoulder pain
- Severe and sharp pelvic and abdominal pain
- Vomiting and nausea with pain
- Pain on one side of the body.
How to diagnose ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is hard to diagnose because it detects as a normal pregnancy by pregnancy checker. In case if the symptoms are very evident then here are some following methods to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy
Your physician first takes your pelvic exam to locate tenderness, pain and mass in the abdomen. Your physician does ultrasound to determine fetus development. If the HCG level is lower than the standard than it may cause a ectopic pregnancy.
- Keyhole surgery: It is a laparoscopic technique that can make the visualization of entire cervix and fallopian tube easier with the help of general
- Vaginal ultrasound: shows a location of the fertilized egg and it are the most common way to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy.
- Blood test: blood HCG levels are analyzed that are usually expressed during pregnancy. It is done when pregnancy is not optimized during ultrasound.
Ectopic pregnancy is usually diagnosed in the first trimester of pregnancy, the most common time to diagnose is between 6 to 10 weeks trimester. Your physician may also test your progesterone levels because low level can lead to an ectopic pregnancy.
The treatment option is chosen in accordance with the complications faced by the women. Usually doctor’s suggest surgery option like Laprotomy, Laproscopy, Salpingostomy, salpingectomy, etc. it depends up to the condition of your ectopic pregnancy. Treatment options may vary from medications.
What about your future pregnancy?
HCG level should be tested regularly until it reaches to zero.
If the HCG level remains high than the ectopic tissue is not removed entirely that might require a surgery or medical treatment with methotrexate.
The ectopic pregnancy chances might be reduces but it all depends up to your medical history and reasons why the previous pregnancy were ectopic. You have got 60% chances of having a normal pregnancy in future.