Getting pregnant and becoming a mother is a very special moment not only for the mother to be but for the entire family. However, this is not the case with ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a kind of an abnormal pregnancy which does not lead to a normal foetus development. In such a pregnancy the fertilised egg goes and attaches to places other than the womb, which is normal. Let us understand this condition in simple manner; in a normal pregnancy the fertilised egg attaches to the wall of uterus, where it gets nourishment and it grows for the next 9 months until delivery. In ectopic pregnancy, the egg after getting fertilised by the sperm attaches to areas other than uterus; like fallopian tubes (tubular pregnancy), cervix (which is the base of uterus that leads to vagina) and in some cases it might also attach on the outer surface of uterus and even gut walls. Most of the complications of this condition occur when the fertilised egg starts growing at the unusual places and causes damage to the normal reproductive organs. This damage can be due to rupture of organs or part of organ; internal bleeding etc. and might be fatal. From the explanation we can understand that majority of ectopic pregnancies do not lead to healthy foetus and it is best to get it treated early.
Commonly the known causes of such pregnancies are inflammation of the fallopian tubes which blocks the passage of fertilised egg and makes it stay inside the tube itself; any history of surgery related to uterus or fallopian tubes also might block the passage of fertilised egg, any prior case of ectopic pregnancy puts you at a higher risk of second repetitive incidence of such pregnancy. Also in women who are using a birth control uterine device, there are chances of acquiring an ectopic pregnancy. Usually you will not get pregnant with birth control device; however if you do; there are fair chances it will be ectopic. Smoking or staying stressed just before conceiving puts you in the high risk group.
Let Us Have A Look At Some Of The Typical Symptoms Of Ectopic Pregnancies.
Unusual Vaginal Bleeding
If the ectopic pregnancy has remained undetected and developed for about 6-8 weeks, there are chances you will observe abnormal vaginal bleeding. This happens due to rupture of reproductive organs or a part of it.
Pain And Abdominal Discomfort
The abnormal growth and internal bleeding causes extreme cramping pain and uneasiness.
Giddy Feeling And Light-Headedness
If at all the ectopic development is in your fallopian tubes and it has ruptured, there is occurrence of severe vaginal bleeding in some cases. If the bleeding is internal you will experience extreme giddiness, light headedness, extreme abdominal pain and discomfort.
Whenever you observe these signs and symptoms it is advisable that you rush to your doctor. Your doctor will first confirm your pregnancy (if you are not sure and it is still undiagnosed), then try and locate the position of your fertilisation with the help of ultrasound and based on that he will suggest a suitable treatment.
Treatment For Ectopic Pregnancy:
If an ectopic pregnancy is detected, you cannot make it normal; however it is important that early diagnosis and removal of abnormal tissues must happen immediately in order to ensure no further damage to organs occur and a normal pregnancy in future can be possible. Some of the treatments for removal of abnormal ectopic pregnancy tissue are described below.
Closely Monitored Observation
In cases when you are diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy however, there are no severe symptoms; the doctor might perform few blood tests and simply observe your condition. It is possible that due to improper nutrition or growth conditions the fertilised egg dies on its own and gets dissolved and disappears.
In advanced cases, where there is considerable tissue growth inside fallopian tubes or cervix, methotrexate injections are given. These injections dissolve the extra cells and restrict any abnormal growth. Depending on certain tests your doctor might repeat the injections under close observation.
Surgery, involving a minor surgery which removes extra tissue with the help of a slit or a major surgery which might remove the entire fallopian tube, is performed depending on individual patient condition. The decision is done based on severity of the pregnancy.
The most important aim of treatment of ectopic pregnancy is ensuring that it is not fatal and that the female can bear children later after getting treated. Also the risk of developing a subsequent ectopic pregnancy is higher and hence it is important that while planning a baby you must consult your gynaecologist in initial phases of planning itself to avoid future complications.