The first stage of pregnancy is fertilized eggs. The uterine lining generally retains the fertilized egg but when it gets implanted and grows outside the uterus's main cavity, it results in an ectopic pregnancy.
Every 1 in every 150 pregnancies results in an ectopic pregnancy, which requires urgent care as it may result in considerable bleeding and a medical emergency.
The fertilized egg frequently adheres to organs other than the uterine wall, like the fallopian tubes, cervix, etc. Ectopic pregnancy is the term used for these types of pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately. Let's learn more about ectopic pregnancy!
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
Early ectopic pregnancy symptoms can be misunderstood for those of a normal pregnancy. Nausea, breast soreness, and missed periods are some of the early symptoms of both conditions.
The first and earliest signs of an ectopic pregnancy are pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. These, however, are the same as the typical early signs of any pregnancy, so the doctor will follow a step-by-step process to determine whether the pregnancy is ectopic. The following are indicators of ectopic pregnancy:
The area of the blood accumulation and the damaged nerves determine the specific symptoms.
If the fertilized egg continues to grow inside the fallopian tube, the tube can break. There may be severe internal bleeding. Fainting, extreme lightheadedness, and shock.
When to see a doctor?
If you experience mild abdominal pain or light vaginal bleeding, visit the doctor. However, if you have any of these ectopic pregnancy warning signs or symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention right away:
Causes and Risk Factors
When the fertilized eggs get implanted and grow outside the uterus's main cavity, it results in an ectopic pregnancy.
It is not yet known what causes ectopic pregnancies. However, the following risk factors have been linked to it:
- Fertility treatments like IVF
- The shape of the fallopian tubes like elongated diverticulum
- Hormonal derangements
- Previous history of an ectopic pregnancy
- Maternal age is 35 years or above
- History of pelvic or abdominal surgery
- History of pelvic inflammatory disease
- History of endometriosis
- History of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- History of Tubal Ligation
- History of Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Intrauterine device (IUD) use
If you have any of these mentioned risk factors, it could be a good idea to consult with your doctor in order to avoid any serious consequences.
The healthcare provider will suggest tests to confirm a pregnancy before looking for an ectopic pregnancy. Among these tests are:
A urine test:
- Utilize the pregnancy test card preferably with the early morning urine.
- Using the dropper, place 2-3 drops of urine in the sample well.
- If a light (faded) pink line appears, then you have to retest using the required amount of urine.
- If two pink lines appear that indicate you are pregnant, it is a positive result.
- If one pink line appears that indicates you are not pregnant, it's a negative result.
A blood test:
The healthcare provider may do a blood test to estimate the body's hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels. During pregnancy, this hormone is created. This is also known as the serum beta-hCG level.
An ultrasound exam:
An ultrasound is an imaging exam that employs sound waves to create an image of the body's internal structures. During pregnancy, ultrasound is frequently used. The provider will use this test to determine where the fertilized egg has been implanted.
A treatment plan will be developed once the doctor has confirmed the pregnancy and determines where the fertilized egg has been implanted.
If the pregnancy is ectopic, one must go to the emergency department of the hospital immediately and be treated. There is no time to wait for an appointment in these situations.
Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies, while still considered pregnancies, are risky for both the mother and the developing fetus. In these cases, the fetus rarely survives to full term and must be terminated. As a result, ectopic pregnancy necessitates immediate treatment. This includes the following:
If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy before it becomes an emergency, the doctor may prescribe medications to prevent the fast division of cells within the ectopic mass. This medicine will cause cramping and bleeding and allow the ectopic tissue to pass easily, comparable to a miscarriage.
However, in many cases, surgery is chosen over medications. The ectopic tumor is surgically removed laparoscopically in this case.
After removing the ectopic mass, your doctor will give patients post-operative instructions and warning signals.
- One must not lift heavy weights.
- Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.
- Avoid intercourse, use tampons, and relax the pelvic region.
- Complete rest for one week after surgery or miscarriage, then gradually increase exercises.
Although there is no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, there are steps you can take to lower the likelihood:
Ectopic Pregnancy Dos and Don’ts
Follow these do’s and don’ts to manage or minimize the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:
|Have a healthy diet||Smoke and go to smoke-filled areas|
|Take medications on time||Consume alcohol|
|Plan for early pregnancy (mostly before age 35)||Stand or move for extended periods of time|
|Limit the daily coffee intake||Lift heavy weights|
|Take proper rest||Have sex |
To help you navigate the pregnancy, get in touch with our team of obstetricians and gynecologists at Medicover Hospitals if you have any concerns.
Ectopic Pregnancy at Medicover
We have the best team of gynecologists in India who strive to provide our patients with the best treatment possible to rectify their gynecological issues. Our gynecologists have extensive knowledge in diagnosing, treating, and preventing multiple gynecological issues like Ectopic pregnancy. Our gynecologists collaborate with other doctors to provide the best treatment to our patients.
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