What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Gynecologic Oncology
November 25, 2022
3 Min Read
What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

A pregnancy that develops outside the uterus is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. When a fertilized egg implants in a structure that is incapable of supporting its growth, this occurs. Frequently, a pregnancy ectopic occurs in the fallopian tube (a pair of structures that connect the ovaries and uterus). An ectopic pregnancy can occasionally develop on an ovary or in the abdominal cavity.

This ailment poses a hazard to life. An ectopic pregnancy cannot be brought to term (until delivery) and, if left untreated, might be deadly for the mother.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

The majority of the time, factors that hinder or speed up the migration of the egg via the fallopian tube and into the uterus are what lead to an ectopic pregnancy. Early symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy might resemble usual pregnancy symptoms rather closely. However, you can also encounter the following signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:

  • Uterine bleeding
  • Discomfort in your pelvis, lower back, and lower abdomen
  • Weakness or vertigo

The pain and bleeding from a ruptured fallopian tube may be severe enough to produce other symptoms. These may consist of:

  • Fainting
  • Reduced blood pressure (hypotension).
  • Pain in the shoulder
  • Pressure in the rectum

You could have severe lower abdomen discomfort if a tube rupture. You should call your doctor or visit the emergency room right away since this is a medical emergency.

Contact your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible if you get pregnant, have an IUD (intrauterine device for contraception) in place, or have had your tubes tied in the past after surgery or a C-section. Ectopic pregnancies are more frequent under these circumstances.

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy and What is the Cause?

Now that we’ve already answered ‘What is an ectopic pregnancy, it’s time to look at the causes. The majority of the time, factors that hinder or speed up the migration of the egg via the fallopian tube and into the uterus are what lead to an ectopic pregnancy. Your chances of getting an ectopic pregnancy may rise due to several risk factors. A characteristic or action that raises your chances of contracting a disease or condition is called a risk factor. You could be more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy if you've had:

  • An ectopic pregnancy in the past
  • A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection that can lead to the formation of scar tissue in your cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
  • Surgery on your pelvic organs or on your fallopian tubes (including tubal ligation, often known as having your tubes tied).
  • A background in infertility
  • In vitro fertilization is used to treat infertility (IVF)
  • Endometriosis
  • Sexually transmissible diseases (STIs)
  • When a child is conceived, there is an intrauterine device (IUD) in place as a method of birth control
  • A background in smoking

As you age, your risk may also go up too. Compared to younger women, women over 35 are more at risk. Many women who have an ectopic pregnancy do not have any of the risk factors mentioned above.

Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment

Ectopic pregnancy treatment can be done in several ways. In rare circumstances, your doctor could advise using a drug called methotrexate to halt the pregnancy's progress. Your pregnancy will cease as a result. Your healthcare practitioner will inject you with methotrexate. Although less intrusive than surgery, this method does necessitate follow-up visits with your doctor so that your hCG levels may be checked.

Surgery is frequently performed in extreme situations. If your fallopian tube has already ruptured or if it is potentially ruptured, your doctor will want to operate. This procedure is a life-saving emergency operation. Laparoscopic surgery is commonly used for the operation (through several small incisions instead of one bigger cut). If it is possible, the surgeon will try to retrieve the egg from the fallopian tube before removing the entire tube.

Contact Us

Call BASS Medical right away if you experience any ectopic pregnancy symptoms or indications, such as vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain.