Many women have concerns about an ectopic pregnancy and we shall be solving all doubts about this dangerous condition right here today. An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus in a woman’s body. Ectopic, in fact, means ‘out of place’. The fertilised egg usually implants in the fallopian tubes whose actual work is to transport the ovum or egg from the ovaries to the uterus for fertilisation. This is why such pregnancies are also called ‘tubal pregnancies’. Sometimes the fertilised egg can also implant in the cervix or the ovaries of the hapless woman.
Normally pregnancies happen when a fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterine wall to grow and develop. Ectopic pregnancies are a serious condition and can cause internal bleeding and infection and even death of the expecting mother. That’s why knowing the symptoms is so important.
Common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy appear as the pregnancy matures. Initially the woman will have all the usual pregnancy-related symptoms like missing her period and breast tenderness, but soon the other alarming symptoms will start appearing like severe abdominal pain on one side, vaginal bleeding, severe cramps and nausea and vomiting, fainting spells and dizziness.
One should seek a doctor’s advice right away in this condition because ectopic pregnancy can be fatal. Why? Because as the fertilised egg is implanted in a part of a woman’s body which is not built to look after it, the embryo can burst in the fallopian tubes, cervix or wherever it has managed to implant itself. This mini-explosion inside the body is a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths during the first trimester. This can lead to internal bleeding and infection, which is lethal.
Hence, the earlier an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated, the better. The only way to deal with an ectopic pregnancy is to abort it. The doctor can do this using either medicines or surgery.
The medicine ‘methotrexate’ can be used to end a tubal pregnancy. Surgery can also be used to remove the embryo.
In some cases, doctors may have to remove the fallopian tube with the implanted embryo. This has a number of repercussions. The woman can become infertile. Even if the fallopian tubes have been scarred during surgery, it becomes difficult for her to get pregnant again.
Ectopic pregnancies are also getting quite common due to a number of factors like an increase in sexually transmitted diseases which cause scarring of tubes and infertility treatments. If a woman is over 30 years of age, has a history of a pelvic inflammatory disease, a surgery in the pelvic area or has had an ectopic pregnancy before, she should be very careful indeed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.