Home Women's Health 2 Best Ways to Treat Ectopic Pregnancy

2 Best Ways to Treat Ectopic Pregnancy

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

by GP
Ectopic pregnancy

Table of  Content

  1. what is Ectopic Pregnancy
  2. Symptoms of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy
  3. Causes
  4. Risk factors
  5. Diagnosis
  6. Treatment of Ectopic pregnancy
  7. Prevention
  8. 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.

 An Ectopic pregnancy can’t survive because the fallopian tube is not as flexible as the uterus, which is the best place to house the fetus or fertilized egg. The fallopian tube would burst as the fertilized egg grows leading to life-threatening bleeding.

Symptoms of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy

Symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy in the first few weeks of the pregnancy may not be noticed by some persons unless through a medical test.
Symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy mostly surface from the 4th week of pregnancy, Such early  symptoms are as follows:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • 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.
If Ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed early and it bursts the fallopian tube which also is called Rupture of the fallopian tube, The following symptoms would occur
  • Heavy vaginal Bleeding; This bleeding requires immediate medical attention to curtail the life-threatening situation
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shoulder pain
  • Rectal pressure
Once you experience any of these the attention of your doctor needs to be called immediately as any further delay may worsen the situation.

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Causes of Ectopic pregnancy

The causes of Tubal Ectopic pregnancy which is the common Ectopic pregnancy is often caused when  the fertilized egg is stuck on the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus because the fallopian tube is damaged by any of the following;
  • Inflammation
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Genetic Abnormalities
  • Birth Defect
  • The medical condition of the fallopian tube

What are The Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy

A risk factor is a trait that helps or increases the chance of a particular disease or health condition, So several factors can trigger or increase the chance of Ectopic pregnancy such as :
  • 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)
  • Endometriosis
  • Smoking
  • 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.

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An ectopic pregnancy can’t be diagnosed through physical examination, so your healthcare provider we have to some several tests to confirm the pregnancy and also possibly check if it is Ectopic, Such tests are as follows;
  • 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
Once every necessary test has been carried out and An Ectopic pregnancy has been confirmed a treatment plan we are drafted and commenced immediately. However, if the bleeding and symptoms are severe the doctor may proceed immediately with the treatment without going through these test steps to remedy the life-threatening situation.

Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy

There are two ways of treating an Ectopic pregnancy and either of the method to use depends on the level of pregnancy. the method is as follows

      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.
There is always a regular blood test to check the effectiveness of the medication administered. It will take several months after this medication to get pregnant again. However, this medication is less invasive than surgery.
      2. Surgery: In some cases, if the pregnancy has gone far, surgery will be required to correct the abnormally.      Laparoscopy could be carried out, this surgery is done to remove the embryo from the fallopian tube with the help of a tube called a laparoscope. in a situation whereby the fallopian tube has been ruptured a larger cut would be needed to remove the fallopian tube and this surgery is called Laparotomy.
         After the surgery the are some requirements to help the incision heal fast such as;
  • 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;

  • Bleeding
  • Foul smell from the incision
  • Redness and swelling of  the area of the C-section


There is no expressway to preventing Ectopic pregnancy, Rather there is some way the risk can be reduced such are:
  • 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.



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