When a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the fallopian tube, instead of implanting in the uterus, it leads to a condition known as ectopic pregnancy. This kind of pregnancy, if untreated, can cause irreversible damage to the fallopian tube and cause serious complications like heavy bleeding in the pregnant woman. Ectopic pregnancies are relatively uncommon. About 1 in 50 pregnancies are ectopic. Due to the severity of the condition and possible life-threatening risks it involves, any woman who is trying to get pregnant must know these things about ectopic pregnancy:
- Risk Factors
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when there is inflammation or scarring in the fallopian tube. Therefore, if a woman has pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometriosis, she is at an increased risk for an ectopic pregnancy. When the fallopian tubes are damaged due to any reason, a fertilized egg might not be able to pass through and therefore, attach to the tube. Also, women who have had a surgery on their fallopian tubes, are taking fertility drugs, or are undergoing IVF treatments are also at risk. Some women who are born with misshaped fallopian tubes can also suffer from an ectopic pregnancy. Talk to your doctors at KIMS Cuddles to understand about these risk factors in detail.
- Positive Pregnancy Result
Even if the pregnancy is an ectopic one, it will still produce the pregnancy hormone hCG. So when you take a pregnancy test, it will give you a positive result. A woman who has an ectopic pregnancy experiences the same signs of pregnancy as that of a normal one. However, the chances of having a healthy baby are slim. An ectopic pregnancy almost always ends prematurely.
- Pain About Ectopic Pregnancy
Usually, ectopic pregnancy is discovered by the 8th week of pregnancy. It causes a sharp pain in the pelvis or stomach, which gets more intense over a period of time. Vaginal bleeding, dizziness, weakness and nausea are some of the other common symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. If you think you are pregnant with these symptoms, get medical help immediately.
- Tests and Treatment
Doctors perform several tests to determine if you have an ectopic pregnancy. These include:
- A blood pregnancy test to check the level of pregnancy hormone circulating in your blood. A low level of pregnancy hormone (hCG) indicates problems with the pregnancy
- A pelvic examination to check the size of your uterus and to feel the tenderness in that region
- An ultrasound to verify the location of the implanted fetus
Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy depends on how far long the mother is in her pregnancy and if her fallopian tube has been stretched or ruptured. Early detection can be easier to treat by giving medication and ending the pregnancy. However, if the pregnancy has advanced, the woman has to undergo an emergency surgery to remove all or parts of the impacted fallopian tube.
- It doesn’t always mean infertility
An ectopic pregnancy doesn’t mean a woman will never be able to conceive again in the future. Damage to the fallopian tubes can only make it more difficult for implantation to be successful and you might have trouble conceiving. Your doctor can help you decide about the best time to try and conceive, after having an ectopic pregnancy.
Knowing about all the complications that can arise with an ectopic pregnancy, women who are trying to get pregnant can seek help early on if they notice any of the above causes and symptoms. Hope this blog about ectopic pregnancy was helpful to you. To find out more in detail, visit our experts at KIMS Cuddles.