Table of Content
- what is Ectopic Pregnancy
- Symptoms of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy
- Risk factors
- Treatment of Ectopic pregnancy
- Long-term Outlook
What is Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy also called Extrauterine pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the cavity of the uterus. In a normal and healthy pregnancy, the egg is meant to travel down the fallopian tubes and imbed itself into the wall of the uterus, where it can begin to develop. Rather in an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants or attaches itself to one of the structures along the track. Ectopic pregnancy can occur in any of the following places, The abdominal cavity or cervix, ovary, and fallopian tube. 98% of Ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube (the structure that connects the ovaries and uterus) and it’s called a tubal ectopic pregnancy. Research According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), verified that Ectopic Pregnancies occur in about 1 out of every 50 pregnancies.
Symptoms of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy
- Breast tenderness
- Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic
- Light vaginal bleeding; Most times when this occurs it’s a surprise to some women who had tested positive for pregnancy as they mistake it for the normal period, This bleeding is a bit different in color (dark brown) from the normal regular period and its mostly watery, It often starts and stops. Its recommended that you should visit your doctor to ascertain the cause of the blooding as it could also occur in normal pregnancy.
- Heavy vaginal Bleeding; This bleeding requires immediate medical attention to curtail the life-threatening situation
- Low blood pressure
- Shoulder pain
- Rectal pressure
Causes of Ectopic pregnancy
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Genetic Abnormalities
- Birth Defect
- The medical condition of the fallopian tube
What are The Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): This is an infection that can cause scar tissues to form in the fallopian tube, uterus cervix, and ovaries so persons who suffer from PID or have a history of PID have a risk of developing Ectopic pregnancy.
- Age above 35
- Sexual Transmitted Infection or Disease
- Pelvic surgery, Abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions
- History of previous Ectopic pregnancy
- Fertility drugs
- In-vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Tubal ligation or tubal ligation reversal surgery: Once you realize that you are pregnant or you are having the symptoms and you have IUD (intrauterine device for contraception) in place, or that you have a tubal ligation contact your doctor immediately you notice the development.
All the above-listed factor increases the chance of Ectopic pregnancy, the factors are not limited to this as research can reveal more risk factors.
- A Urine Test: This test is carried out by urinating on a pregnancy test stripe or urinating in a tube-like container and inserting the test stripe inside the urine to confirm the pregnancy.
- A Blood Test: This test is carried out to determine the level of Human chorionic gonadotropin(HCG) and progesterone. These hormones are produced during pregnancy, so this test is done to check the level, if it decreases over time or is stagnant then there is a possibility or 70% chance of the pregnancy being Ectopic.
- Ultrasound Test: A transvaginal ultrasound test that involves inserting a special wand-like instrument into your vagina to verify if the gestational sac is in the uterus
Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy
1. Medication: The doctor would have to decide to treat with medication if the fallopian tube has not ruptured or is at risk of being ruptured. One common medication used is methotrexate (rheumatrex or trexall). This drug is meant to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells, that is to stop the fertilized egg from amassing and the body will absorb them. Some symptoms may occur with this medication such as;
- Cramps in the lower abdomen.
- Bleeding and passing out of tissue from the vagina.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects above 5kg
- Drink much water to avoid constipation
- pelvic rest. e.g avoid sex
Notify your healthcare provider of any changes that may occur during the recovery process such as;
- Foul smell from the incision
- Redness and swelling of the area of the C-section
- Stop smoking
- A limited number of the sexual partner, use condoms to avoid STDs which can lead to inflammation and cause harm to the fallopian tube
- Maintain regular gynecological examination
- Maintain a healthy weight and diet
Long term outlook
The long-term outlook after an ectopic pregnancy depends on whether it caused any physical damage. people who had ectopic pregnancies go on to have a healthy and successful pregnancies. If both fallopian tubes are still intact or that one has been removed, the eggs can still be fertilized. But bear in mind that a previous case of Ectopic pregnancy stands a risk of reoccurrence as the fallopian tube may be scared during surgery. In some cases of removal of both fallopian tubes, pregnancy can still be achieved through in-vitro fertilization which involves implanting a fertilized egg into the uterus. Also, it’s advised to stay more than £months after Ectopic pregnancy.