Ectopic pregnancy – Causes & Treatment

In a normal pregnancy, the egg will implant itself on the uterus lining after fertilization. In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg attaches itself outside of the uterus, anywhere else in the body. Most often falls in the fallopian tube, also called a tubal pregnancy. Around 80-90% of ectopic pregnancies take place in this area. The fallopian tube is a long and slender tube that connects the uterus to the ovaries. Other body areas where the egg can attach itself include the cervix, the abominable cavity, or the ovary. The ectopic pregnancy does not proceed normally as the egg is not able to survive elsewhere and needs to be given immediate medical care and attention as it can cause bleeding that can be life-threatening.

What Are The Symptoms?

You might not be able to guess right away, but here are some common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:-

  • Sharp abdominal pain

  • Pain in the neck, shoulder, or pelvis

  • Light vaginal bleeding 

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness 

  • Any early signs of pregnancy

  • In case of heavy abdominal bleeding, one might experience lightheadedness or faint.

Contact your doctor and seek medical treatment immediately if you spot any of these symptoms, especially if you know you are pregnant.

What causes an ectopic pregnancy?

Although ectopic pregnancy is unclear, some of the common causes include damage to the fallopian tube or inflammation that obstructs the passage. The blocked tube does not allow the egg to pass on, which causes it to attach itself to the fallopian tube walls. Any previous medical condition can also pose a risk factor. Those who have had an ectopic pregnancy before are also highly likely to be at risk of getting an ectopic pregnancy again. Any hormonal condition can also cause an ectopic pregnancy. Some ectopic pregnancy causes that can cause you to get one are more likely:

  • If you smoke cigarettes

  • If you are above the age of 35

  • If you have had a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – infections in the pelvic area

  • If you have any scarring from pelvic surgery or any prior medical condition

  • Any prior surgery to your fallopian tubes or conditions that could have caused any changes in its shape

  • If you have used birth control through an intrauterine device (IUD) or have had in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

It might be hard to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy since the symptoms are similar to normal pregnancy and can be hard to analyse through a physical exam. However, there are some tests to determine if the case is genuine. For example, a blood test might be performed to check the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone secreted during pregnancy. This hormone might be at lower levels if you have an ectopic pregnancy. Another way to diagnose is through a transvaginal ultrasound. A small probe or a wand-like object is inserted into your vagina to look at your reproductive system. The doctor might check to see the presence of a gestational sac or the fertilised egg has implanted itself in the fallopian tube. If there is a chance that the symptoms experienced are severe, then there might not be much time to perform any tests. Instead, the doctor might perform emergency surgery to remove the egg and provide treatment to prevent further damage to the fallopian tube or avoid any complications like extreme internal bleeding.

Ectopic pregnancy treatment

An ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening, so immediate medical help should be taken if there are suspicions. The egg cannot survive anywhere other than the uterus, and to prevent further complications, it is better to seek treatment. Depending on the cause and severity of the symptoms, the doctor might prescribe medication or perform surgery.

Medication 

If the discovery of an ectopic pregnancy is early on, the doctor might prescribe medicines out of which methotrexate is standard. It is a shot that prevents and ceases the cells from growing, and the body then absorbs the tissues. However, side effects may persist, for which the doctor should be consulted.

Surgery 

If your ectopic pregnancy is not discovered early, your doctor might perform an ectopic pregnancy surgery. Generally, a laparoscopy is performed where a small incision is placed in your lower belly. Next, a thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted to see if there are any damages to your fallopian tube. Finally, a larger incision is required to repair the damages if it has been ruptured, called a laparotomy.

Depending on your condition, your doctor will suggest the most suitable option for you, after which you will have to take great care. Save & Deliver Pharmacy endeavors to provide you with all the extra care medication you need to recuperate without any worries.

Save & Deliver Liverpool
Save & Deliver Liverpool

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