A normal pregnancy is one in which the fertilized ovum attaches itself onto the lining of the uterus and grows to its full term. In an ectopic pregnancy, however, the fertilized ovum attaches itself to parts of the reproductive system, other than the lining of the uterus.
This could range right from the fallopian tubes, down to the cervix. This can result in a critical situation for the mother as well as well as the foetus. It is estimated that 1% of all pregnancies are ectopic pregnancies.
In some cases, the ectopic pregnancies are naturally terminated in early stages, leading to heavy bleeding and causing the mother to believe she has a miscarriage. The reality, however, is that this was a tubal abortion of an ectopic pregnancy.
Causes Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
The causes of an ectopic pregnancy are not precisely known. However, smoking, advanced age of the mother, and earlier tubal damage are said to be risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
While initial symptoms are usually absent, some of the early symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include, but are not limited to, the following:
Subtle discomfort and pain which could also be the sign of corpus luteum of the ovaries.
Mild vaginal bleeding. However, this could often be confused with the implantation bleeding that usually happens in early pregnancy. Pain and/or bleeding during bowel movements, both, vaginal as well as internal.
If there is acute internal bleeding, this could result in shoulder pain, severe cramping in the pelvic region, usually on the side of the bleeding, lower back pain and abdominal pain.
Dealing With An Ectopic Pregnancy
If you are concerned that you are at risk for an ectopic pregnancy, it is good to discuss your concerns with a gynaecologist. It is also not a reason to panic, since modern medical science has come up with different types of treatment, both, surgical as well as non-surgical.
Surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancies is usually done in the case of internal bleeding. In this case, the laparoscopic method is used to access the pelvic region and either remove only the embryo, or the entire area if it is necessary. In the non surgical method, an anti-metabolite know as methotrexate is used to hamper the growth of the embryo and end the pregnancy.