Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus.
An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in a fallopian tube, which carries eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. This type of ectopic pregnancy is called a tubal pregnancy. Sometimes, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in other areas of the body, such as the ovary, abdominal cavity or the lower part of the uterus (cervix), which connects to the vagina.
An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.
A pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube.
Sign & Symptoms-
You may not notice any symptoms at first. However, some women who have an ectopic pregnancy have the usual early signs or symptoms of pregnancy ,a missed period, breast tenderness and nausea.
If you take a pregnancy test, the result will be positive. Still, an ectopic pregnancy can’t continue as normal.
As the fertilized egg grows in the improper place, signs and symptoms become more noticeable.
What is the main cause of ectopic pregnancy?
Usually, an ectopic pregnancy happens because the fertilized egg wasn’t able to move down the fallopian tube quickly enough. An infection or inflammation in the tube can cause it to be partially or completely blocked. This is commonly caused by pelvic inflammatory disease .
How serious is an ectopic pregnancy?
Untreated ectopic pregnancies can cause internal bleeding, infection, and in some cases lead to death. When you have an ectopic pregnancy, it’s extremely important to get treatment from a doctor as soon as possible. Treating an ectopic pregnancy isn’t the same thing as getting an abortion.
Can a baby survive an ectopic pregnancy?
Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy is fatal for the fetus. It cannot survive outside of the uterus. Quick treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is important to protect the mother’s life. If the egg has implanted in the fallopian tube and the tube bursts, there can be severe internal bleeding.
Who is at risk of ectopic pregnancy?
All sexually active women are at some risk for an ectopic pregnancy. Risk factors increase with any of the following: maternal age of 35 years or older. history of pelvic surgery, abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions.
Is ectopic pregnancy a miscarriage?
Possible outcomes. In many cases of ectopic pregnancy, the fertilised egg dies quickly and is broken down by your system before you miss your period or after you experience some slight pain and bleeding. In these cases an ectopic pregnancy is rarely diagnosed and it is assumed to be a miscarriage.
Can ectopic pregnancy fix itself?
About half of ectopic pregnancies may resolve on their own where there is a drop in hCG levels. If a person develops new symptoms, another ultrasound scan may be done, and treatment options will be reassessed. Medical or surgical intervention may be required if it does not complete as planned.
How is ectopic pregnancy detected?
An ectopic pregnancy is usually diagnosed by carrying out a transvaginal ultrasound scan. This involves inserting a small probe into your vagina. The probe is so small that it’s easy to insert and you won’t need a local anaesthetic.
How long can ectopic pregnancy last?
The structure containing the fetus typically ruptures after about 6 to 16 weeks, long before the fetus is able to live on its own. When an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, bleeding may be severe and even threaten the life of the woman.
Is ectopic pregnancy painful?
Often, the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are pain or vaginal bleeding. There might be pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder or neck (if blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy builds up and irritates certain nerves). The pain can range from mild and dull to severe and sharp.
Do ectopic pregnancies show up on pregnancy tests?
Would an Ectopic Pregnancy Show Up on a Home Pregnancy Test? Since ectopic pregnancies still produce the hormone hCG, they’ll register as a positive home pregnancy test. Women with ectopic pregnancies will also experience early pregnancy symptoms like sore breasts, nausea, spotting, and more.
Is ectopic pregnancy seen on an ultrasound?
Most ectopic pregnancies can be detected using a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and blood tests.
Early warning of ectopic pregnancy–
Often, the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain.
If blood leaks from the fallopian tube, you may feel shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement. Your specific symptoms depend on where the blood collects and which nerves are irritated.
If the fertilized egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, it can cause the tube to rupture. Heavy bleeding inside the abdomen is likely. Symptoms of this life-threatening event include extreme lightheadedness, fainting and shock.
Some things that make you more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy are:-
- Previous ectopic pregnancy,
- Inflammation or infection,
- Choice of birth control,
- Tubal surgery,
- Fertility treatments,
An ectopic pregnancy can cause your fallopian tube to burst open. Without treatment, the ruptured tube can lead to life-threatening bleeding.
Prevention– There’s no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but here are some ways to decrease your risk:-
- Don’t smoke. If you do, quit before you try to get pregnant.
- Limiting the number of sexual partners and using a condom during sex helps to prevent sexually transmitted infections and may reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.