Ectopic pregnancy, a term that can send down a chill in any women. Not only is it life threatening, painful and impossible to carry to term, the entire process is also heart-breaking and depressing for the woman and her family. This is one pregnancy that no one is happy about. A freak of nature when the fertilized egg attaches itself other than the uterus, the medicinal world is still finding out why do they happen and what are they exactly.
Adriana Velez in her post1, talks about ectopic pregnancy and also provides some answers as what are the options available to woman who has an ectopic pregnancy.
Definition of Ectopic Pregnancy
If explained in simplest of terms, it is a situation where the fertilized egg does not implant itself in the uterus but outside it. This could be in the Fallopian tube or even the neck of the uterus.
Can It Be Left Untreated?
If left untreated, the fertilized egg can grow and damage the mother’s other organs. It can lead to internal bleeding which can even cause death. The fertilized egg does not survive.
Discovering Ectopic Pregnancy
The ectopic pregnancy can be detected through an ultrasound after getting a positive pregnancy test done, however, sometimes it might not be detected also. The doctor may have difficulty in spotting ectopic pregnancy in the early months. Usually, if the mother-to-be undergoes severe abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, is feeling lightheaded or frequently faints, then chances of having an ectopic pregnancy are high.
Options For The Mother
Once the mother-to-be has been diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy, it should be treated as soon as possible. If it’s in the early months, this can be simply done through an injection that would stop the growth of the fertilized egg and dissolve it. Other cases, a laproscopic surgery can be used to remove the egg. If the egg has damaged or ruptured a tube, emergency services would be needed. Sometimes, the damaged tube can be repaired, but more often than not, it has to be removed.
Causes Behind Ectopic Pregnancy
There can be various causes behind ectopic pregnancy. Inflamed or damaged tubes or uterus, infections, hormonal irregularities, fertility treatments, etc. can all be reasons behind ectopic pregnancy. In some rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy can also be when the women conceive while using birth control contraceptives like pill or IUD.
Risks in Ectopic Pregnancy
Women who have a history of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, already had an ectopic pregnancy before, tubal surgery or are smokers.
Don’t fear: Ectopic Pregnancies Are Rare
Ectopic pregnancies are really rare. Out of 2.5 pregnancies, only one would be ectopic in nature.
Getting Pregnant Again After Ectopic Pregnancy
It all depends on the removal of the last ectopic pregnancy and what it has left intact in the reproductive system, your doctor would be able to guide you about your next pregnancy. However, if there is one less fallopian tube, getting pregnant again is difficult and you also run a risk of developing another ectopic pregnancy. Have a discussion with your doctor before you decide to become pregnant again.
Pregnant women should have one rule, and one rule only, that is to consult their doctor immediately if something feels wrong. Pregnancy involves a whole lot of unfamiliar sensations which would include aches and pains, and more often than not, those are absolutely normal. So, don’t worry. Keep talking to your doctor and have a safe pregnancy.
References [ + ]