Pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus after traveling through the fallopian tube. However, in rare cases, the egg ceases to travel any further and lodges itself firmly within the tube itself. Such instances are known as ectopic pregnancies. Rarer still, are instances of hetero topic pregnancies where the pregnancy occurs within the cervix, abdomen or even in the scar of a C-section.
Pregnancy in the fallopian tube is almost always terminated on detection. This becomes mandatory as the growing embryo may rupture the tube leading to complications which might even prove to be life threatening for the mother.
Although an ectopic pregnancy cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy, there are some known risk factors which may lead to the condition.
Risk factors– Pregnancy after the tubes are tied or surgical ligation is a cause for concern. Such pregnancies often turn out to be ectopic in nature.
Pregnancy in spite of an intra uterine device being in place frequently results in a tubal pregnancy as well.Incidences of ectopic pregnancy are known to recur. It is, therefore, advisable to go for a thorough check up once pregnancy is detected in a woman who had had ectopic pregnancies before.
Surgeries of the tube or an upper reproductive tract infection are other risk factors normally associated with tubal pregnancies. Infertility treatment due to damaged fallopian tubes might result in ectopic pregnancies too.
Common Symptoms– Ectopic pregnancy symptoms are often ignored at the onset but get severe with time. The most predominant symptoms of tubal pregnancies are:-
Bleeding from the vagina may be one of the primary indications that something is amiss with the pregnancy. Pain in the abdomen particularly during coughing or passing of stools may be a cause for alarm too. Pain in the shoulder especially in the supine position may indicate ectopic pregnancy as well.
However, symptoms of going into a shock characterized by a clammy skin which feels cold to touch along with a weak and racy pulse may mean that the tube has ruptured. It is imperative to seek medical attention immediately in such cases.