Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a type of medical complication found in pregnancy. In this complication, fertilized ovum is implanted and developed on other tissues of reproductive system than the uterine wall. In ectopic pregnancy, the fetus develops in the tissues of fallopian tube, cervix, ovaries, and abdomen. The ectopic pregnancies are mostly, about 98%, implanted in fallopian tube and are known as tubal pregnancies.

The fetus produces enzymes in the embryo, and, in case when the embryo is placed elsewhere, it can cause damage to the tissues of that part. Sometimes the invading vessels can cause bleeding and results into tubal abortion. This can cause pain in the abdomen and sometimes lead to the death of woman suffering from this medical urgency.

Methotrexate treatment is given to avoid surgery in ectopic pregnancy, however, sometimes surgical intervention is done to look for any rupture in the fallopian tube.

Causes for Ectopic Pregnancies:

The ectopic pregnancy is seen in women who are facing risk factors or abnormalities like

  1. Pelvic inflammatory disease: In some cases, the  disease lead to forming scars in the tissues of reproductive system that results in implanting ectopic pregnancy
  2. Infertility
  3. Used an IUD
  4. Already faced ectopic pregnancy: Almost 10% of women who had already faced ectopic pregnancy have chances of going through the same in their next pregnancy.
  5. Tubal ligation: In tubal ligation, surgery is done to treat the damaged fallopian tubes. The procedure increases the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
  6. Smoking habit: Women who do lot of smoking are on risky side of having this pregnancy.
  7. Exposed to DES: Women who are in touch or exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) have three times more chances of having ectopic pregnanct than who are not.
  8. Late pregnancy
  9. Vaginal douching

Ectopic Pregnancies Symptoms:

The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy occur during and after 7 weeks after the last menstural period. Early diagnosis and better medical facility is helpful in knowing the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy at early stage.

The symptoms include pain in lower abdomen, inflammation or cramping in stomach, painful urination, pain while sitting or discomfort in the body, vaginal bleeding, and pain during excreting.
Vaginal bleeding in early stage is due to failing pregnancy and lowering of progestrone level from the corpus luteum on the ovary.

Ectopic pregnancy happening at later stage is analyzed through external bleeding and internal bleeding. External bleeding is due to decrease in progesterone level and internal bleeding is due to hemorrhage from the affected fallopian tubes.

Ectopic pregnancy can be confused to pelvic inflammatory disease, hence proper diagnosis will help in finding the right complication.

Ectopic Pregnancies Diagnosis:

Pregnancy test: Ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed in pregnant women facing vaginal bleeding or pain in the abdomen.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound is helpful in locating a gestational sac with fetus developed in the fallopian tube that clearly showcases the presence of ectopic pregnancy.

Blood pressure check: Unexpected rise in the blood pressure indicate presence of ectopic pregnancy.

High-resolution vaginal ultrasound: Absence of intrauterine pregnancy found after doing high-resolution vaginal ultrasound indicates presence of ectopic pregnacy.

Laproscopy or laparotomy: The presence of ectopic pregnancy can be confirmed by performing laproscopy or laparotomy. It is essential in locating tubal abortion and tubul rupturing.

Ectopic Pregnancies Treatment:

The treatments given to cure this medical urgency can be categorized into surgical and non-surgical treatment.

Nonsurgical treatment: Nonsurgical treatments are given if the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed at the early stage of pregnancy. In this, antimetabolite methotrexate is given to disrupt the growth of embryo to eliminate the pregnancy.

Surgical treatment: Surgeries are performed when ectopic pregnancy is detected at later stage. Surgery is performed to incise fallopian tube and to remove pregnancy.