Ectopic pregnancy is a major pregnancy complication in which the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterine cavity.The implantation takes place in the fallopian tubes in most of the cases. Hence ectopic pregnancies also go by the name of tubal pregnancies.
But the implantation can also happen in the cervix, abdomen and ovaries. The risk of ectopic pregnancy increases if you have a medical history of inflammatory diseases of the pelvis. Also previous surgeries inside the abdomen involving the uterus and also a prior history of tubal pregnancy can pose as a risk factor.
The method of conception also affects the chances of ectopic pregnancies. If the pregnant woman has undergone any fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization or ovulation induction, then the risks of ectopic pregnancy also increases.
Ectopic pregnancies will cause symptoms seen in normal pregnancies like nausea, vomiting and excessive breast tenderness. But most women with ectopic pregnancy complain of severe abdominal and pelvic pain. The pain will be sharp and stabbing and will vary in intensity.
They will also have severe vaginal bleeding. Abnormal rate of heart beat, excessive sweating and dizziness will also be experienced.
Ectopic pregnancy can be detected around 5-7 weeks of the pregnancy. The confirmation of ectopic pregnancy is usually done with an ultrasound scan, which can reveal the exact position of implantation of the fertilized egg.
The treatment for ectopic pregnancy usually depends on the medical condition of the pregnant woman and the location and size of the implanted embryo.
The treatment mainly aims at removal of the fertilized egg without causing major hemorrhage. Sometimes, the fallopian tube will have to be removed. If complications are less, then the surgery can be done without the removal of the fallopian tubes.
Nowadays keyhole surgery is done where removal of the ectopic pregnancy can be done without making large incisions or scars. If the pregnancy has ruptured the fallopian tube, then it will be necessary to resort to surgical procedures involving incisions.
The chances of recurrence of ectopic pregnancies are about 10 to 15 percent. If you have had an abdominal surgery, then you need to wait for another 6 months before trying to conceive again.
Ectopic pregnancy if not treated properly can turn out to be fatal for the mother. Correct diagnosis and proper medical treatment are thus very essential while dealing with ectopic pregnancies