Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms And Treatment
This condition occurs when a fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus. The egg is meant to journey down the fallopian tubes and attached itself to the wall of the uterus, then starts to develop. The egg may get implanted in structures like the fallopian tube or in other cases, to the ovary, abdominal cavity, or lower part of the uterus. These sites cannot hold a growing embryo or stretch like a uterus. This leads to bleeding in the pregnant woman and if not treated can cause rupture which is a life-threatening condition.
Ectopic pregnancy condition
The uterus is suited to carry a growing fetus. It’s an organ that can stretch and expand as the fetus grows. The fallopian tube can burst as the fertilized egg develops. When this happens, you can experience internal bleeding. This is life-threatening. An ectopic pregnancy needs to be treated right away to avoid injury to the fallopian tube, other organs in the abdominal cavity, internal bleeding, and death.
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy
The early symptoms can be very similar to typical pregnancy symptoms. Like a missed period, tenderness in the breast and nausea. The pregnancy test also comes positive. But as the embryo starts to grow in a small place, signs of ectopic pregnancy become more visible. Some of the early signs also includes:
- Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. The woman may also feel shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement. The pain depends on where the embryo is implanted and when it leads to bleeding internally. As the embryo grows, the fallopian tube or other parts may rupture. This can cause heavy bleeding and may lead to fainting and shock. Shoulder pain and rectal pressure are also symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. In case you experience any of the above, you must consult your doctor immediately.
- You may feel sharp lower abdominal pain. This is a medical emergency, and you will need to contact your Doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?
Your physician will carry-out several tests first to confirm pregnancy. These tests may include:
- A urine test:
- A blood test:
- An ultrasound exam:
Once your health provider confirmed the pregnancy and determined where the fertilized egg was implanted, a treatment plan will be created. If your fallopian tube ruptures, you will need to to be treated immediately.
Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment
Since the fertilized egg cannot develop normally, it needs to be removed as soon as possible. Your Doctor on the basis of symptoms and the growth of fetus can decides what method to use. This can be done through a medicine, laparoscopic surgery, or abdominal surgery. If is an early stage, the Doctor can give an injection to stop cell growth and dissolve the existing cells. This is followed by an HCG test to determine if you need more medication.
In case, the embryo has grown, and your doctor feels that a laparoscopic procedure is the best ectopic pregnancy treatment, then you should trust your doctor. In case the ectopic pregnancy is causing heavy bleeding, your doctor may advise an emergency surgery. Doctors try their best to save the fallopian tube, however, a ruptured tube must be removed.
Risk factors of ectopic pregnancy
There are several risk factors that could increase your chance of developing an ectopic pregnancy. You may be at a higher risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy if you’ve had:
- A previous ectopic pregnancy.
- A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection that can cause scar tissue to form in your fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries, and cervix.
- Surgery on your fallopian tubes (including tubal ligation, also referred to as having your tubes tied) or on the other organs of your pelvic area.
- A history of infertility.
- Treatment for infertility with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- An intrauterine device (IUD), a form of birth control, in place at the time of conception.
- A history of smoking.
Your risk also increase as you get older. It has also been noticed that many women who experience an ectopic pregnancy don’t have any of the above.
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