Ectopic pregnancy is an emergency condition in which the ovum is implanted outside the uterus. Normally, your uterus is the organ where the ovum gets implanted, and a baby grows. But in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized ovum gets implanted outside the main uterus cavity.
Most commonly, it occurs in the fallopian tubes. However, it can also occur in the abdominal cavity or the cervix- a part that connects the uterus to the vagina. If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, your healthcare providers will abort it as soon as possible as it can be life-threatening for the mother. Ectopic pregnancy can not progress like a normal pregnancy. If left untreated, ectopic pregnancy can cause life-threatening vaginal bleeding.
In this article, we will discuss some information about ectopic pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you should attend follow-up visits with the healthcare provider. For an expert opinion, you can visit the Best Gynecologist in Islamabad.
What Are The Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy may not show any such symptoms in the initial stages. It may show up as normal pregnancy, causing symptoms such as missed periods, breast tenderness, nausea, and vomiting.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the pregnancy test will come as positive but it can not progress healthily. The signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy may become apparent when the baby increases in size, growing at the wrong place.
Early Warning Signs of Ectopic Pregnancy
The early warning signs of pregnancy include light vaginal bleeding and pain in the pelvic region. When pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube, bleeding may occur from there. It irritates the nerves, hence causing symptoms, such as pain in the shoulder and an urge for a bowel movement.
If ectopic pregnancy remains untreated and the fertilized egg continues to grow, it can rupture the fallopian tubes, leading to heavy bleeding. It can become life-threatening, showing the symptoms such as fainting, lightheadedness, and shock.
What are the Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy?
Factors that can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy are;
Having a previous history of ectopic pregnancy increases the chances for next too.
Inflammation of Infection
Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia can put you at risk of developing ectopic pregnancy.
According to experts, women who take fertility treatment are at increased risk of developing ectopic pregnancy. Infertility can itself increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
If you have undergone any surgery of the fallopian tubes, the risk of ectopic pregnancy can increase for you.
Certain Contraception Methods
Using certain contraception methods such as intrauterine devices can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. However, the chances of getting pregnant with an intrauterine device are quite low. But if you get pregnant, the chances of ectopic pregnancy are increased.
Another method of contraception is tubal ligation- a procedure in which your fallopian tubes are tied. It can also increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
Smoking cigarettes just before you get pregnant can raise the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
What Are The Complications of Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy, if left untreated, can lead to life-threatening conditions. It can cause your fallopian tubes to burst. If not treated on time, it can lead to severe vaginal bleeding.
How To Prevent Ectopic Pregnancy?
Until now, there is no such way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy. However, the following tips can help in lowering its risk.
Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections by limiting the number of partners and using a condom during sex.
If you are planning to conceive, do not smoke. At least quit smoking before and during pregnancy.
The Bottom Line