An ectopic or extrauterine pregnancy develops outside the uterus. The fertilized ovum lodges in one of the fallopian tubes (in most cases) or other points of the female body such as the ovaries, the neck uterine, or abdomen. This is a severe problem for the mother’s health, as it could become complicated and cause internal bleeding and life-threatening infections. That is why an early medical diagnosis is necessary to be able to interrupt the pregnancy through the appropriate treatment in each case. At FastlyHealwe, explain everything you need to know about this issue showing the symptoms, causes, and treatment of ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms
In the first few weeks, ectopic pregnancy can manifest as symptoms that coincide with the first signs of a normal pregnancy, such as nausea, tiredness, weakness, or tender breasts. There are also cases in which the embryo dies before any symptoms appear or after slight bleeding, so it is possible that the woman is not aware of having had an ectopic pregnancy or is taken as a spontaneous abortion.
However, in cases where the embryo begins to develop, the following symptoms may appear:
- Severe pains in the lower abdomen.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the shoulder.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Pressure in the rectum.
- General malaise.
In cases where there is a rupture or bleeding in the embryo’s area, these symptoms are aggravated. They could even lead to peritoneal irritation or shock, one of the most common complications of ectopic pregnancies.
Faced with the suffering of some of the above symptoms or if severe bleeding occurs, it is essential to see a doctor urgently for a comprehensive review.
Causes and risk factors of ectopic pregnancy
Most pregnancies develop in the woman’s uterus or womb; however, when the fertilized ovum lodges in an inappropriate place in the female body, such as the fallopian tubes, the cervix, the ovary, or the abdomen, what is known as an ectopic pregnancy occurs.
In most ectopic pregnancies, the fertilized egg attaches itself to one of the fallopian tubes before reaching the uterus, and a condition is called a tubal pregnancy. This type of pregnancy rarely occurs in the ovaries, cervix, or abdomen.
Not in all cases the exact causes are known, but there are a series of factors that can cause this abnormal implantation of the ovum and among them are:
- Congenital disabilities in the fallopian tubes.
- Endometriosis: This happens when cells in the womb grow outside the uterus, causing symptoms such as pain, abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods, and difficulty getting pregnant or infertility.
- Having suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease: it is an infection that affects the sexual organs of women. It is caused by bacteria that cause poorly treated sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
- Having had an ectopic pregnancy before. This increases the chances of having a pregnancy of this type again by 10-15%.
- It was scarring from previous pelvic surgery.
In addition to the above, it should be noted that other risk factors can increase the chances of an ectopic pregnancy occurring. These are the following:
- Be over 35 years of age.
- Get pregnant with an intrauterine device (IUD).
- We are having the fallopian tubes tied.
- We have undergone surgery to reverse the tubal ligation to be able to get pregnant.
- Be a smoker.
- Having undergone assisted reproductive techniques to get pregnant, such as in vitro fertilization.
Treatment of ectopic pregnancy
A specialist doctor makes the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy through a vaginal ultrasound. However, it is also possible that a blood test to measure the levels of the pregnancy hormone that in this case are usually low, or a laparoscopy, which consists of inserting a skinny and rigid tube into the abdomen through an incision.
A pregnancy that does not develop in utero cannot continue until birth and must be terminated. The appropriate treatment will be determined by the doctor based on each case; There are two possible ways to treat ectopic pregnancy:
- Medicines. A medicine called methotrexate is given to stop the embryo from growing. This is common in cases with no risk of rupture, and the seed is tiny.
- Surgery. A surgical procedure, called laparoscopy, is carried out to remove the embryo using instruments inserted into the abdomen through minor cuts.
When the situation becomes complicated and internal bleeding and rupture occur, urgent surgery must be carried out to remove the embryo and stop blood loss. In some instances, the damaged tube may have to be removed.
Is it possible to have a healthy pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy?
This is a general question among women who have previously suffered an ectopic pregnancy. As the experts say, the answer is YES, since the figures reveal that 1 in 3 women who have had an ectopic pregnancy can later have a healthy pregnancy.
However, it should also be noted that having an ectopic pregnancy again is much higher. If one of the fallopian tubes has been removed or has significant damage, getting pregnant can be more difficult.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Ectopic pregnancy: symptoms, causes, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.