Once you are pregnant, you are overjoyed by the news and within a few days, you shall be bringing home your little one and have great and enjoyable motherhood in the coming days. But certain abnormalities might occur in your pregnancy and some such abnormalities can severely affect the growth and development of your child and can thus affect your pregnancy. Ectopic or Extrauterine pregnancy is an example of such an abnormality that occurs in a female body while she is pregnant.
What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?
In the case of a healthy pregnancy, after the female reproductive nit known as an ovum or simply an egg gets fertilized by a male reproductive unit known as sperm, the embryonic cell that forms because of fertilizations travels down the fallopian tube and gets attached to the woman’s uterine wall and undergoes further growth and development to form a baby. But if anyone develops an abnormality known as ectopic pregnancy, the embryo cannot travel down to the woman’s uterus after being fertilized and grows somewhere outside or external to the uterus. For that matter, ectopic pregnancy is also often known as ‘extrauterine pregnancy. Certain causes, symptoms, and risks are associated with ectopic pregnancy and before you are planning to get pregnant, you should thoroughly know about these types of abnormalities so that you can take better care of yourself and your developing baby.
The Place Of Occurrence:
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself somewhere outside the uterus of the mother’s body. The most common location where ectopic pregnancy is very usual to occur is somewhere in the fallopian tubes. This is because in an ectopic pregnancy while the fertilized cell is traveling down the fallopian tubes, it cannot reach the uterine wall and remains somewhere in the tube itself. This condition, according to medical terms is known as Tubal Ectopic pregnancy.
Causes Of Ectopic Pregnancy:
No clear cause might be considered responsible for the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy. Certain conditions are supposed to cause ectopic pregnancy. Some of them are as follows:
- genetic disorientations and chromosomal abnormalities
- Sudden changes in hormones lead to hormonal imbalances
- Inflammation of any defect of the fallopian tubes caused by any medical history of surgery or other conditions
- Defects in the shape and size of the fallopian tubes or any reproductive organs caused by any previous medical condition
- birth defects
Symptoms Of Ectopic Pregnancy:
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are not very specific and one might not feel the symptoms in the very first stage. Some of the most prominent symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are soreness or tenderness of breasts, nausea, vomiting, and missing a period. But one might not understand these as the early signs of ectopic pregnancy because these signs are very common in normal, healthy, and uterine pregnancy as well. But as the embryo gradually grows inside the fallopian tubes or any other wrong place within the mother’s body apart from the uterus, the symptoms start to get prominent.
Early Signs of ectopic pregnancy
Doctors often say that apart from nausea, tingling of breasts, or missing a period, there are some other signs too that begin to appear in the early stages of ectopic pregnancy. Some such symptoms can be mild bleeding from the vagina and little to severe pain in the pelvic region. Some can also experience pain in the shoulder or irregularity of bowel movements. These symptoms occur because the blood might start leaking from the fallopian tubes.
Symptoms of emergency and complications:
Sometimes ectopic pregnancy can become life-threatening and fatal because in some cases, heavy growth of the egg within the fallopian tubes can cause the tubes to rupture due to the excessive pressure exerted by the growing cell on either side. In this condition, heavy bleeding occurs within the abdomen and can eventually lead to lightheadedness, fainting, and shock.
Some other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are as follows:
- Excessive and unbearable pain in the abdomen, neck or shoulders and pelvic region
- Pressure in the rectum
- Spotting and mild to severe bleeding from the vagina
- dizziness or fainting
If you feel that you are experiencing the above or related symptoms, you should contact your health care expert at once because the negligence of these symptoms can be lethal and become life-threatening.
Risks In Ectopic Pregnancy:
There are certain risk factors that are related to ectopic pregnancy and may occur among many sexually active women. Somen common risk factors are as follows:
- history of pelvic surgery, abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions
- If you have a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- If you have endometriosis
- Pregnancy at a late age around 35, 40, or older
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or consumption of drugs
- If you become pregnant using conception drugs or by undergoing fertility procedures such as in-vitro fertilization can further increase the risks of ectopic pregnancy
- If you have sexually- transmitted diseases (STD), which can further cause inflammation of the fallopian tubes and other related organs and will make ectopic pregnancy more fatal.
- If you have tubal surgery where a procedure is used to treat any damage to the fallopian tubes.
- If you had any previous history of ectopic pregnancy
- conception occurred despite tubal ligation or intrauterine device (IUD)
- having structural abnormalities in the fallopian tubes that make it hard for the egg to travel
These risk factors should positively be brought under the supervision of your health care expert to prevent further severity of the conditions.
Effect On The Child If You Have Ectopic Pregnancy:
An ectopic pregnancy can cause serious harm to your developing baby as your baby is not even placed in the correct location of your uterus. The baby will not survive for long in case of ectopic pregnancy. It can only be saved by the proper diagnosis as early as possible to save the lives of both the mother and the developing child.
Possible Diagnosis And Treatments Of Ectopic Pregnancy:
There are several ways that will help treat ectopic pregnancy that your concerned health care expert might suggest to you for better and faster recovery and thus to save the life of your child and yourself.
If your ectopic pregnancy is at a mild state, then your doctor may prescribe you some medications that will dissolve the complications of ectopic pregnancy in your uterus and fallopian tubes and that will also prevent the bursting of the tubes and vaginal bleeding. According to some recent studies medications like methotrexate (Rheumatrex) can effectively help to prevent an ectopic pregnancy. Apart from this, medicines like Methotrexate might be inserted with the help of an injection syringe, and it can help to prevent the growth of radical cell division that leads to the formation of ectopic mass. But the use of this drug can lead to symptoms such as miscarriage, cramps, pain in the abdomen, the passing of tissue, and many others. This drug has lower risks and side effects in the uterus and the fallopian tube than that of surgery.
Sometimes the intensity of ectopic pregnancy might be so high that medications might work and the doctor might suggest surgery, specifically a laparotomy surgery that may effectively help to treat any damage of the uterus and fallopian tubes and thus will heal ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes surgery might lead to mild bleeding from the vagina and some traces of blood clots.
Home care remedies:
Certain home remedies might also help to treat ectopic pregnancy. You should notice and check the following things every day:
- excessive bleeding and it becomes unstoppable
- Hot portions to touch
- Drainage from that portion with a bad smell
Obtain a self-care schedule to treat ectopic pregnancy. Some such techniques are listed below:
- drink plenty of water and fluids and foods that are rich in fiber content to prevent constipation and ease bowel movement
- Avoid lifting heavy weights (that are more than ten pounds)
- Rest your pelvic region and refrain from any sexual intercourse
For further suggestions, consult your concerned health care expert.
Prevention of ectopic pregnancy is simply not possible in all cases. Still, there are some standard measures that should be positively followed to lower the risk of occurrences of ectopic pregnancy. Some such measures are as follows:
- Use contraceptives and protection during intercourse to ensure proper reproductive health. You might also have to limit excessive sexual activity as there are often risks of developing sexually transmitted diseases after having unprotected sex that may develop into ectopic pregnancy and affect the health of the child and the mother severely.
- Maintain a healthy diet, stop excessive smoking and drinking, and consumption of harmful drugs. Visit your gynecologist for regular check-ups.
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