🛑 An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the womb.
🛑 Almost all ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube ( reason why they are called tubal pregnancies sometimes) .
🛑 It can however occurs in other areas of the body, such as the ovary, abdominal cavity or the lower part of the uterus (cervix), which connects to the vagina.
🛑 An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated.
🛑 Ectopic pregnancy happens in 1 out of 50 pregnancies – All women with positive Pregnancy tests and no embryo in womb must be examined very well to rule out ectopic pregnancy ( 5 weeks + ).
🛑 Even though Pregnancy test will be positive, don’t be deceived that the embryo is miraculously going to grow into a healthy baby.This is an emergency that needs to be dealt with ASAP or you can DIE !!!
What causes ectopic pregnancies?
🛑 An infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube – this can cause it to become partially or entirely blocked.
🛑 Scar tissue from a previous infection or a surgical procedure on the fallopian tube – this may slow down the egg’s movement.
🛑 Previous surgery in the pelvic area or on the tubes can cause adhesions.
🛑 Abnormal growths or a birth defect can result in an abnormality of the fallopian tubes eg tubes too long or too coiled.
You are at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy if :
🛑 Get pregnant above the age of 35
🛑 If you have ever had an ectopic pregnancy
🛑 If you have ever had a pelvic or abdominal surgery
🛑 If you have or have ever had a Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
🛑 If you have had Several induced abortions
🛑 If you are Pregnant after having a tubal ligation or if you have an IUD in place ( The chance of getting pregnant while using an intrauterine device (IUD) is rare. However, if you do get pregnant with an IUD in place, it’s more likely to be ectopic)
🛑 If you Smoke – The more you smoke, the greater the risk.
🛑 If you have Endometriosis
🛑 If you are undergoing fertility treatments or are using fertility medications
What should you be looking out for?
Signs and symptoms increase as the fertilized egg grows in the improper place. You may experience Pregnancy symptoms plus the symptoms below:
🛑 pelvic pain.
🛑 Light vaginal bleeding may also occur.
🛑 If blood leaks from the fallopian tube, you may feel increasing abdominal pain, an urge to have a bowel movement or pelvic discomfort.
🛑 If heavy bleeding occurs, you may feel shoulder pain as blood fills your pelvis and abdomen. Your specific symptoms depend on where the blood collects.
Emergency symptoms ( SOS)
🛑 extreme lightheadedness
🛑 severe abdominal pain
❗See an obgyn ASAP if you have :
🛑 Severe abdominal or pelvic pain during pregnancy
🛑 Abnormal vaginal bleeding
🛑 Extreme lightheadedness or fainting
🛑 Other concerning symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy
Is there any Complication?
❗Rupture of fallopian tube and life-threatening bleeding.
How can you prevent an ectopic pregnancy
There’s no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but here are some ways to decrease your risk:
🛑 Limit your number of sexual partners.
🛑 Always use a condom during sex to help prevent sexually transmitted infections and reduce your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
🛑 Don’t smoke. If you do, quit before you try to get pregnant
❗Diagnosis is usually by ultrasound. Ih symptoms are present but nothing is seen on the ultrasound, a laparoscopy will be performed. This allows your obgyn to see into your abdominal cavity. If an ectopic pregnancy is pregnant, it will be seen.
🛑 Treatment options are based on the location, age of pregnancy and symptoms you have.
❗ Make the right choice when an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed during your pregnancy. We can’t afford to lose you.
Ps: Below is a video of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy into the abdomen.
By Dr. Dixie
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