What is Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic Pregnancy, or extrauterine pregnancy is a condition in which a fertilized egg grows somewhere other than the woman’s uterus. It can lead to life-threatening bleeding, and you should seek medical attention immediately. Eggs are implanted in a fallopian tubes in more than 90% of cases. This is known as a tubal pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
Most often, an ectopic pregnancies occur within the first few weeks. It is possible to not be aware that you are pregnant, and not notice any issues. Early signs of an unplanned pregnancy include:
- Light vaginal bleeding, and pelvic pain
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Sharp abdominal cramps
- Pain one side of your body
- Dizziness and weakness
- Pain in your neck, neck or rectum
Ectopic pregnancy can lead to your fallopian tube burst, or rupturing. Major pain with or without severe bleeding are the most common emergency symptoms. If you experience severe stomach pain, particularly on one side, heavy vaginal bleeding or lightheadedness, fainting or shoulder pain or have persistent vaginal bleeding , call your doctor immediately.
Risk Factors and Causes
It is possible that you may not know the reason for your ectopic pregnancy. A damaged fallopian tube could be one reason. This could prevent the fertilized egg being able to enter your uterus. If you are:
- Suffering from pelvic inflammation disease? (PID).
- are you older than 35
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Scarring after pelvic surgery
- A previous ectopic pregnancy
- You tried to have tubal-ligation (tubes tethered) or tubal-ligation reversal
- Use fertility medications
- Fertility Treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Your intrauterine device (IUD) may be used to prevent you from getting pregnant.
Diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy
Your doctor should do a pregnancy test to examine your uterus and fallopian tube, they might perform an ultrasound .
Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy
A fertilized egg cannot survive outside of a uterus so your doctor will have to remove it. One of two options will be used: surgery , or medication.
If your fallopian tubes are not ruptured, your doctor might give you a shot at methotrexate or Traxall. It prevents the cells from growing. They will be absorbed by your body.
Other cases may require surgery. Laparoscopy is the most common. To remove an ectopic pregnancy, your doctor will make small cuts to your lower abdomen and insert a thin flexible tube called a “laparoscope“. They may also need to remove your fallopian tube if it is damaged. You might need emergency surgery to repair a ruptured fallopian tube if you are bleeding profusely or if your doctor suspects you have it. This procedure is called laparotomy.
After an Ectopic Pregnancy
After a fallopian tube removal, it might be difficult to have a normal pregnancy. Talk to a fertility specialist if you have had a fallopian tube or other procedure. Talk to your doctor about the time frame before you try again.
Experts recommend that you wait at least three months before trying again to allow your body time to heal. If you become pregnant again. Since one ectopic pregnancies increases your chances of getting another, be aware of any changes in your body until you can get confirmation from your doctor that it is growing as it should.
When Should You Seek Medical Advice
If you experience any combination of these symptoms, contact your doctor or call NHS 111 – even if there hasn’t been a positive pregnancy testing. Ectopic pregnancy can lead to serious complications, so it is important to seek immediate advice. Your GP will ask you about your symptoms. You’ll need to have a pregnancy test in order to determine if you might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.
When Should You Seek Emergency Help?
If you have any combination of the following:
- A sharp, sudden, and intense pain in the tummy
- Feeling very dizzy, or fainting
- feeling sick
- looking very pale
This could indicate that your fallopian tubes have split (or ruptured). This is a serious condition and you should have surgery to repair your fallopian tube as soon as possible. Although ruptures can be dangerous and life-threatening, they are rare and easily treated if caught quickly. In the UK, ruptures can cause death.
Support and Help After an Ectopic Baby
It can be very difficult to lose a baby. Many women feel the same grief as if they lost a loved one or partner. These feelings can last for several months. However, they will usually improve over time. Give your partner and yourself time to grieve. You or your partner may need professional support or counseling if you are having difficulty accepting your loss. Talk to your GP about these issues. People who have lost a baby can get support groups.