Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg does not move to the uterus but stays in the Fallopian tube.It is usually discovered by the 8th week of pregnancy and can be frightening and life threatening and so emergency treatment is required.
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting with pain
- Lower abdominal pain
- Sharp abdominal cramps
- Pain on one side of your body
- Dizziness or weakness/ fainting
- Pain in your shoulder, neck, or rectum
- Severe bleeding meaning the Fallopian tube has likely ruptured
If you experience any of these symptoms it is important that you pay your doctor a visit immediately. A quick response reduces the chance of
hemorrhaging/severe bleeding and preserves your fertility.
- A damaged Fallopian tube that does not allow the fertilized egg into the ovary
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
- Conception while an IUD is in place
- Using fertility medications
- Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
- Unsuccessful tubal sterilization
- Maternal age of 35-44
If the pregnancy had not progressed far and the Fallopian tube has not raptured laparoscopic surgery will be conducted to remove the embryo. In some cases, medication may be given to stop the growth of the pregnancy tissue. If the doctor suspects that the Fallopian tube has been ruptured emergency surgery is needed to stop the bleeding and in some cases the tube and ovary may have to be removed. After treatment blood tests that detect hCG level (the hormone produced during pregnancy) will be done to ensure that the procedure was successful.
Ectopic pregnancies happens in about 1 of every 50 pregnancies and most women who experience it go on to have successful pregnancies and births in the future even if one falopian tube has been removed. Doctors recommend waiting between 3-6 months before attempting to get pregnant again. If the ectopic pregnancy was caused by illness, treatment of the illness and healing of the body is necessary before giving it another go. You may also want to consider counselling to help you cope with the loss before trying again.
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