An ectopic pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. This irregular situation must be addressed quickly to avoid risks that affect the woman’s health. Statistics estimate that 1 in 50 pregnancies is ectopic. No embryo located outside the uterus can thrive. Therefore this type of pregnancy must be timely interrupted to prevent the fallopian tube from rupturing and putting lives at risk of the woman.
Suppose you have experienced this condition before or fear experiencing a pregnancy of this type in this FastlyHealarticle. In that case, we explain everything you need to know about this condition, and we give you some tips to avoid an ectopic pregnancy.
Table of Contents
Why do ectopic pregnancies occur?
When the ovum is mature and ready to be fertilized, it is released from the ovary, traveling through the fallopian tubes, an area in which it is usually fertilized by sperm. It must continue its way to the uterus to implant and start gestation.
Ectopic pregnancies occur when an obstruction in the fallopian tubes does not allow the egg to travel to the uterus, so the pregnancy begins to advance in the fallopian boxes. This condition is high risk because if the embryo starts to grow, there is a high risk that the tube will rupture, internal bleeding will occur, and the woman will go into shock.
The most common causes of ectopic pregnancies are:
- A pelvic inflammatory disease that causes tubal obstruction is the cause of half of ectopic pregnancies. The obstacle is usually presented by an infection that causes inflammation in the area, causing the tube to be partially or covered. Conditions such as hydrosalpinx, salpingitis, or piosalpinx are the most common causes of this condition.
- Endometriosis can also lead to this problem, specifically those cases that lead to salpingitis, a type of obstruction in the tubes.
- Having an IUD, women who use this device for birth control and become pregnant have a higher risk of having this type of pregnancy.
- A tubal ligation that has not been done correctly can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy. In the same way, those women who have undergone pelvic surgery that has generated scarring in the tubes could also present obstructions in this area.
- The treatment of in vitro fertilization may also cause this type of gestation.
- Those women who have had a previous ectopic pregnancy have a higher risk of suffering the second pregnancy of this type.
- Women over 30 are also more likely to suffer from these pregnancies.
How long to wait if I have already had an ectopic pregnancy?
If you have had a pregnancy of this type in the past, there are chances that it will be repeated, so it is essential to carry out a strict medical check-up following the gynecologist’s suggestions. There are treatments for partial tubal obstruction. In the same way, if you suffer from a condition such as endometriosis, you should talk with your doctor about the best solutions to conceive.
After an ectopic pregnancy, and depending on the treatment that the gynecologist has decided to apply to remove the embryo, the body will take more or less time to recover. Therefore, in general, gynecologists recommend waiting at least six months after an ectopic pregnancy to conceive again, always with the prior approval of the specialist, as there are cases in which it may be necessary to wait longer.
Avoid an ectopic pregnancy if you’ve already had one.
Because those women who have suffered a pregnancy of this type in the past have the possibility of suffering them again, especially if the condition that produces the obstruction in the tube is not adequately cared for, it is essential to take into account some recommendations to avoid a new pregnancy of this type:
- If you have only one blocked tube, you should know that it is still possible to have a normal pregnancy with the other fallopian tube. Each month we ovulate with a single ovary. Therefore the month that you ovulate with the ovary of the healthy tube, you will be able to attempt gestation with a considerable success rate. For this, the guidance of a gynecologist is essential, who will help you know in which months it is appropriate to seek pregnancy and if there is any treatment that helps increase fertility and improve your chances.
- If you use the IUD as a contraceptive method, it is best to remove it since this device increases the risk of suffering from this type of pregnancy when pregnancy occurs using it.
- It is essential to treat that condition that can cause this type of pregnancy and not attempt pregnancy until your gynecologist tells you that it is appropriate. Frequent check-ups are necessary in these cases. You should bear in mind that in cases of complex endometriosis or obstructions in both tubes, the gynecologist may recommend an assisted fertilization treatment.
Prevent an ectopic pregnancy if you’ve never gotten pregnant
Suppose you have never gotten pregnant before, and you fear the possibility of tubal or ectopic pregnancy. In that case, there are steps you can take to determine your gynecological condition before seeking pregnancy.
Some suggestions are:
- Before looking for a baby, visit your gynecologist for a complete check-up to determine the state of your uterus, rule out specific diseases that may affect reproduction, and perform a general examination to determine your health status in—a generic way.
- If you have suffered from sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia in the past, inform your gynecologist so that he can examine whether they were treated promptly and without sequelae.
- If you have endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, it is essential not to seek pregnancy without consulting a specialist beforehand. This will help you prevent an ectopic pregnancy and get the best recommendations for a healthy pregnancy.
- If your method of protection is the IUD, remove it before you start looking for a baby, this will help reduce the chances of this type of pregnancy occurring.
- When trying to get pregnant, it is essential to lead healthy lifestyles, reduce or avoid alcohol consumption, quit tobacco, and eat properly to ensure general well-being.
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 if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
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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.