Time is a crucial factor in treating ectopic pregnancy. When a woman arrives in the emergency department complaining of abdominal pain she is usually asked to give a urine pregnancy test. These tests are not so modern; no doubt, they are still carried out as it is speedy. Needless to say, speed is of the essence in treating ectopic pregnancy.
When the pregnancy is confirmed you will be going through a quantitative HCG test. This particular blood test usually measures the level of HCG. This appears in the blood and urine within 10 days of conception. This test is essential t determine ectopic pregnancy. If the HCG levels are lower than normal, then these are serious indications of a possible ectopic pregnancy.
The next step is to get an ultrasound examination done in order to determine whether the uterus has a developing fetus or if it is present anywhere in the abdominal area. Please be informed that ectopic pregnancies are sometimes not detected by ultrasound examination. A pelvic exam might be done to check if the uterus is pregnant or the presence of any masses.
There is a common belief worldwide that even if the best medical knowledge is applied, it becomes very difficult to detect a pregnancy within 5 weeks of the last menstrual period. If the doctor is not sure regarding the nature of pregnancy – ectopic or not – then it is very likely that you will be told to take the HCG test every 3 days. Even if there are no changes in the HCG levels then ultimately an ultrasound will be done to locate the pregnancy.
The size and location of the pregnancy and the medical stability of the woman is a great determining factor for treatment of an ectopic pregnancy. An early one can be treated with an injection of methotrexate. If ectopic pregnancy reaches an advanced stage then a surgery will be needed to remove an abnormal pregnancy.
There is a less invasive surgical procedure called laparoscopy which is hugely popular nowadays. But whatever be the course of treatment the doctor needs to make sure that your HCG level comes down to zero. This might take many weeks but don’t lose patience over it.