Ectopic pregnancy is defined as pregnancy outside the uterus. In most cases, the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tubes. That is why it is also called tubal pregnancies. Since the two tubes are not designed to grow an embryo, the fetus does not develop properly. The best way to treat it right away. Here are the symptoms, causes, treatments, and everything you need to know as stated in the AmericanPregnancy.org website.
To know if you have an ectopic pregnancy, here are the symptoms that you have to look out for.
- Sharp or stabbing pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
- Vaginal bleeding
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
Call your doctor if you experience a sharp pain of more than a few minutes or if you have bleeding.
You might be wondering what could have caused your fertilized egg to be misplaced. Here are the possible causes.
Infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube
A previous fallopian tube infection or inflammation could cause the fertilized egg either to be partially or completely blocked. It prevents from going to the uterus to grow normally.
Previous infection or a surgical procedure that has caused a scar tissue on the tube could affect the movement of the egg.
Pelvic area or tube surgery
If you have had surgeries on either pelvic area or your tubes, it could cause your egg to adhere to them.
Birth defects or abnormal growths could cause your tubes to have an abnormal shape.
Who are at risk?
Certain women might be at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Here are some factors to take note.
- Women aged 35 to 44
- Previous ectopic pregnancy or pelvic and abdominal surgery
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Conceiving while having an IUD or after tubal ligation
- While undergoing fertility treatments or drugs
- Many induced abortions
How is it diagnosed?
Your OB-GYN will first perform a pelvic exam to find out where it is painful and tender or to find a mass in your abdomen. Then your doctor will check if there is a fetus in your uterus. Your OB-GYN will check your HCG and progesterone levels. A lower than normal level could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Your doctor will prescribe you with methotrexate. It will help your body absorb the pregnancy tissue. This way, you could save your fallopian tube depending on the progress of your pregnancy.
For women who have a ruptured or stretched tube, doctors could remove the whole or a part of it if it has started bleeding. Emergency surgery is needed to stop bleeding. You may need to undergo laparoscopy to remove the pregnancy. It will also be needed to repair the tube. If it is not possible with this procedure, you may have to undergo laparotomy.
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