Ectopic Pregnancy – An Overview
Pregnancy is the happiest moment for any woman in her life. Pregnancy is not a simple thing for women and she needs to be under constant supervision by a doctor for safe motherhood.
What if the happiness scattered?
Pregnancy is almost like a rebirth for women considering the pain and stress she undergoes during the delivery of a child. However, a lot of things may happen during pregnancy, and one such thing is Ectopic Pregnancy.
A normal pregnancy usually develops inside the uterus of a woman, when the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube and connects to the lining of the uterine. but in 1 to 2% of cases implantation offers elsewhere, this is called ectopic pregnancy. 95% of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes, 5% occur in the ovaries, peritoneal cavities, cervix or prior cesarian star. occasionally there can be a pregnancy composed of normal uterine implantation along with one more ectopic.
The ovaries on either side are connected by the two fallopian tubes and uterus form the female reproductive system. Vagina and cervix are the external parts of the female reproductive system where the sperm travels from the exterior vagina to the cervix, and into the fallopian tubes. Here the egg that is released from the ovary is fertilized and moves into the uterus for implantation.
Generally, an ovary releases the egg into the fallopian tube, and that egg stays for about 24 hours in the fallopian tube where it comes in contact with sperm and gets fertilized. After fertilization, if the egg moves into the uterus, then a healthy pregnancy occurs in the uterus(womb) of a woman.
However, This fertilized egg before heading into the uterus it stays in the fallopian tube for 3 or 4 days, and if it fails to move in the uterus then it attaches to the lining of the fallopian tube and begins to grow.
So, if the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube or somewhere else in your abdomen like cervix, then it is called as an Ectopic Pregnancy.
Where Does Ectopic Pregnancy Occur?
Ectopic Pregnancy can occur in :
- Fallopian Tubes: If the ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tubes it is called Tubular Pregnancy
- Ovary: If the ectopic pregnancy occurs in the ovary it is known as Ovarian Pregnancy
- Abdomen: If it occurs in the abdomen, it’s called Abdominal Pregnancy.
- Cervix: If the ectopic pregnancy occurs in the cervix, it is referred to as Cervical Pregnancy
What are the causes of ectopic pregnancy?
The possible causes are:
- The egg does not travel to its desired position in the uterus if there is any blockage in the fallopian tubes. This obstruction can occur due to an infection or any inflammation in the fallopian tube.
- The movement of the egg in the fallopian is slowed down due to scar tissue resulting from previous surgeries for the tubes or any previous infections.
- Endometriosis can also lead to Ectopic Pregnancy.
- Prior surgery to the pelvic region or the fallopian tubes may lead to attaching the egg itself in that area.
- Due to congenital disabilities or genetic abnormality, the irregular growth of the fallopian tube in the mother causes ectopic pregnancy.
Risk of developing ectopic pregnancy in women with:
A high possibility of developing an ectopic pregnancy can be seen in the following cases:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease(PID) infections to female reproductive organs
- Surgeries which are done previously in the pelvic or abdominal area
- History of induced abortions
- Women who are undergoing fertility treatment or using fertility medicines
- Using birth control devices like Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD),
- Previous history of any ectopic pregnancies
However, we can reduce some of these risks by following some simple precautions like:
- If you have any infections for the reproductive system or vagina or uterus get treatment quickly
- By limiting the number of partners, you can prevent the risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- Avoid infections by using condoms during sexual intercourse
- Quitting smoking habits
Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy can be self-diagnosed if you can notice the following symptoms
- The classic triad for ectopic pregnancies is delayed menses, painful abdomen and vagina spotting
- with severe pain which occurs on one side of the abdominal region or pelvic region
- Feeling weak and dizziness
- Heavy bleeding from the vagina other than your normal period
- Sharp pain in the region of neck and shoulders because of internal bleeding from the ectopic pregnancy
Never ignore if you notice the symptoms mentioned above, Get an appointment scheduled at Sunshine Hospital and find out what’s causing you discomfort and get treated.
Diagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy:
Using the following methods, a doctor at sunshine Hospital can diagnose an ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic exam: Doctor usually performs a pelvic exam to rule out the tenderness or muscle mass in the abdomen
- Ultrasound: Doctors perform an ultrasound to confirm whether the fetus is growing in the uterus or outside the uterus.
- Measuring your hCG levels: Since low hCG level indicates a possibility of ectopic pregnancy, doctors measure your hCG levels to determine your pregnancy type.
Treatment and Care for Ectopic Pregnancy
There are different treatments and care available to treat ectopic pregnancy.
During the initial stages of pregnancy
Methotrexate drug is administered for the treatment involving in breaking down of the pregnancy tissue. This help to stop the fallopian tube from bursting by dissolving the pregnancy tissue.
Surgery is performed to stop the bleeding in case of a ruptured fallopian tube. Depending on the degree of rupture, the dead tissue or the part of the fallopian tube are removed.
Laparoscopy is also used to treat ectopic pregnancy, it is a procedure where the pregnancy tissue is surgically removed under anaesthesia which helps to repair the fallopian tubes.
Out of all ectopic pregnancies, A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency!
After an ectopic pregnancy, is there any possibility of a healthy pregnancy?
It depends on a range of treatment performed at the time of ectopic pregnancy and after an ectopic pregnancy, there are 90% chances of getting a healthy pregnancy. But in the case of repeated ectopic pregnancies, there are only 10% chances of getting a healthy pregnancy. The chance of re The chances of a healthy pregnancy increase in the future if the fallopian tubes are left intact and in good shape. In the following conditions, your fallopian tubes can be left undamaged:
- Early diagnosis and treatment for ectopic pregnancy by a doctor.
- Treating ectopic pregnancy early through Methotrexate or laparoscopy.
Having an ectopic pregnancy can affect mother both physically and emotionally. We at Sunshine Hospitals, having qualified surgeons and gynaecologists who will do everything to save you from pregnancy problems and helps you to have high chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future.
So, never take a chance with pregnancy, get in touch with our expert team of gynaecologists at Sunshine Hospitals. As mentioned above, early the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, the brighter would be the chances of conceiving without an incident in the future.
About The Doctor:
Dr. T Rajeshwari Reddy – MBBS, MS (OBG)
Dr. T Rajeshwari Reddy is a renowned Gynaecologist and a well known laparoscopic surgeon in Hyderabad. She has gained a lot of good-will from every single patient she has treated. Along with her exceptional skills in treating infertility problems, she is also good at personal counselling, which has helped many people to overcome their worries.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.
The Team of Gynaecologists at Sunshine Hospitals brings to the table a cumulative work experience of 50 years. The obstetrics sub-speciality extends comprehensive care to women’s reproductive tract and attends to infants during pregnancy (prenatal period), childbirth and the postnatal period. The Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology provides 24×7 anaesthetic cover for the needs of labouring women, either for painless delivery or emergency caesarian section.