Ectopic pregnancy is an abnormal form of pregnancy, which can cause a serious threat to the woman’s life.
What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?
Instead of developing in the womb, as intended by nature, the fertilized egg is attached to the outer side of it. As a rule (in 99% of cases), it remains in the fallopian tube, but it can get both into the ovaries and the peritoneal cavity.
Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms
On the one hand, one should not lose time and detect ectopic pregnancy as soon as possible, and one the other hand, one may suspect a non-existent problem. The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy can be similar to those of a normal pregnancy: a delay of the next menstruation. At the same time, the delay may be accompanied by bloody secretion from the genital tract (though such secretion is usually the sign of the interruption of normal pregnancy).
Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include dull pain, which is localized in the lower abdomen, usually on the side of the fallopian tube, which the egg is attached to.
The Consequences of Ectopic Pregnancy
What can cause an ectopic pregnancy? The walls of the fallopian tubes are not intended to be a receptacle for the fetus, and they are broken when experiencing excessive strain. Very rarely, such pregnancy can be characterized by the location of the embryo and blood in the abdominal cavity. Interruption of ectopic pregnancy is often accompanied by intraperitoneal bleeding, shock, fainting, and sharp pains. In such cases, one needs urgent hospitalization to help the woman with an emergency surgery.
Ectopic Pregnancy: Who’s in the Risk Group?
The risk of ectopic pregnancy gets higher with age, and the highest risk is in the women, who are thirty-five to forty-four years old. In particular, it can happen if women suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases that are triggered by mycoplasma, Chlamydia trachomatis, and ureaplasma. The women, who have undergone the treatment of hormonal and tubal infertility, are also at risk. In addition, the problem concerns the women with endometriosis, congenital abnormalities of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and a high miscarriage probability. They should be especially cautious.
Note that the use of an intrauterine device as a contraceptive can also cause ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy Causes
Ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition, which occurs when the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube, and it is not able to get to the uterus on time. The specialists name the blockage of the fallopian tube or disturbance of its reduction as the main cause of ectopic pregnancy. It usually occurs in case of:
inflammation in the genital organs (tubes and ovaries) – for example, after an abortion;
congenital hypoplasia of the fallopian tubes;
the genital tumor.
Diagnosing Ectopic Pregnancy
Do not risk your health. One must see a gynecologist on the fourth to seventh day of delay in menstruation. The use of modern diagnostic techniques, including ultrasound, helps establish the fact of pregnancy at the earliest time and find out whether it is a case of ectopic pregnancy. Ultrasound, in particular, is prescribed to the women, who have bloody secretion during the delay in menstruation.
In case of the slightest suspicion of an ectopic pregnancy, gynecologists offer the woman to go to hospital. One should not refuse. In a special institution with modern equipment, one has a chance to undergo all the necessary tests and find out where the embryo is implanted – in the womb or outside of it.
The earlier the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is made, the more gentle ways of terminating it can be chosen by the doctors. However, a surgery cannot be avoided any way.