Ectopic Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
When an egg released from the ovary and merged with a sperm successfully it gets fertilized or pregnancy happens. The next step starts when this fertilized egg moves towards the uterus for attaching itself to the uterus lining. In the case of ectopic pregnancy instead of moving towards the uterus, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube. Immediate treatment of ectopic pregnancy can relieve the condition.
Ectopic pregnancy is not a very common case, one out of 50 women observes this type of pregnancy. This is an abnormal case of pregnancy as the fertilized egg instead of growing in uterus enters into the fallopian tube or any other part of the abdomen where it is absolutely impossible for any fertilized egg to grow and develop itself into a baby.
This type of pregnancy is an emergency case which immediately needed medical attention otherwise it can be life threatening too. Also, it can cause a problem in normal pregnancy in future, a problem in the reproductive system and other health-related problems. Immediate treatment can reduce the risk of further complications associated with ectopic pregnancy.
Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy
Source : <Link>
As per the condition of patients who have faced or suffered ectopic pregnancy some primary causes of this type of pregnancy have come into the picture. The major causes of this type of pregnancy are described below:
Intrauterine Device Insertion
If the intrauterine device is inserted for any medical treatment of a woman and the same woman is in the childbearing age then chances exist for the ectopic pregnancy to happen. Under this type of pregnancy child instead of growing in the uterus, it starts taking place in the fallopian tube which is not possible as this is not the place for the growth of a baby and this is a medical emergency condition.
Treatment for Pregnancy
If someone is going through the pregnancy or fertility treatment under which embryo transfer occurs then most likely it is possible that the embryo moves to the fallopian tube during the implantation phase and hence causing ectopic pregnancy.
Previous Experience of Ectopic Pregnancy
There exists a very high amount of chances of repetition of the ectopic pregnancy if someone has already suffered from this kind of pregnancy before. So a woman who has experience such kind of pregnancy once should remain alert while trying for second-time pregnancy.
Past Tubal Surgery
Under the condition fallopian tube surgery has done in past like sterilization then chances of ectopic pregnancy exists at a very high rate.
If any abdominal surgery is conducted in past such as seizure operation for childbirth, appendix operation etc. then chances of ectopic pregnancy lies for the same person who has experienced all those surgeries in the past.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Any infection caused by the pelvic inflammatory disease which is also known as sexually transmitted disease such as Chlamydia Trachomatis that is happened in past may cause you to experience ectopic pregnancy in the future.
Any woman who gets pregnant in her older age possesses a chance to have the ectopic pregnancy.
Consumption of Mini-Pill
The consumption of mini contraceptive pills causes the alteration of the size of the fallopian tube and hence path created for the fertilized egg to get enter inside this tube causing fallopian pregnancy.
Consumption of Emergency Contraceptive Pill
The consumption of emergency contraceptive pills sometimes causes reverse effects and instead of terminating an unwanted pregnancy it can create alter effect like a fertilized egg may enter to fallopian tube resulting in the ectopic pregnancy.
Women who are smokers are most likely carrying the chances of ectopic pregnancy as the smoking causes the growth of PROKR1 protein inside the fallopian tube. This protein is necessary inside the womb for the growth of baby but as due to smoking this protein is not developing inside the womb so it will create a problem in the growth of baby resulting in ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
A woman who is developing the ectopic pregnancy observes following symptoms. This is a severe health condition so anyone who notices following symptoms should not make any further delay as in the lack of immediate treatment of the patient the condition can be severe.
Severe abdominal pain is noticed if someone has developed the ectopic pregnancy. The abdominal area is consists of the stomach, liver, colon, spleen, pancreas, small intestine, and gallbladder. So aches can occur in any part of the abdomen. Pain because of the ectopic pregnancy is much more severe and beyond tolerance.
Vaginal bleeding occurs normally at the time of menstrual cycle because of the changes in hormone per month and this is a normal health condition. But if sudden bleeding occurs without any particular reason along with cramp then it can be an indication of ectopic pregnancy.
Pain in Body Parts
If sudden pain occurs in different body parts like neck, rectum, shoulder tip along with the pain in the abdominal area then this can be a sign of fallopian pregnancy.
If you have suddenly started observing frequent loose motion accompanied by frequent vomiting along with abdominal cramp then this can be an indication of ectopic pregnancy. Frequent diarrhea reduces the water level of your body and makes you weaker hence your condition turns to be much worst. Immediately visit a hospital for treatment as ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening too.
You can observe a very high level of dizziness and weakness if you have developed an ectopic pregnancy. This particularly happens because of intolerable cramp in the abdomen along with diarrhea and vaginal bleeding your body gets weaker and you can lose your balance, often fall and loss of sensation are noticed by the patient.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are two primary symptoms of the ectopic pregnancy. You suddenly start feeling sick and this sickness not even get relieved out of normal pills. Frequent vomiting is also observed in this condition.
Diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy
The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy resemble with other health conditions also. So a doctor doesn’t rely on these symptoms only. Before starting the treatment of this kind of abnormal pregnancy they ask for many medical tests as well as the examination to ensure whether the symptoms are observing is because of the ectopic pregnancy or due to some other reasons.
A gynecologist will ask for the urine test in order to ensure whether you are really pregnant or not. Though the symptoms you are noticing clearly indicates your pregnancy but before concluding and for starting any treatment the urine test will better clarify your condition.
Pelvic area examination is done by the doctor through physical checkup of the different genital area of the women who is observing the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. The gynecologists can do a physical examination of the women’s uterus, vulva, fallopian tubes, cervix, rectum, bladder, and ovary. The pelvic examination is the best and ideal process of clearing out the real cause of symptoms the patient is observing.
With the help of high level of sound frequency, internal body images are displayed on a computer screen by the ultrasound test. This internal imaging body checkup will produce the exact and current position of the embryo. If the embryo is growing inside the fallopian tubes instead of the womb then it will be clearly shown on the computer screen.
The blood test is not generally asked from the women’s who have done a home pregnancy test or the urine test. Under the condition, a woman along with positive pregnancy test is observing other symptoms also then doctors ask for a blood test to know the actual cause of the symptoms. This test is much more sensitive and reliable than the urine test. Even your body is carrying a very lower level of HCG it will be shown in the blood test report.
Treatment Procedure of Ectopic Pregnancy
A pregnancy is considered as normal when the embryo is developing in the uterus but sometimes due to some internal health problems and because of few factors the embryo instead of moving towards the uterus it turns its way to fallopian tubes. This is an abnormal case of pregnancy and as the embryo cannot develop itself in any place other than uterus so causes ectopic pregnancy.
The embryo cannot survive itself outside of the uterus area so under the condition if the fertilized egg has attached itself to the fallopian tissue it needs to be ended immediately otherwise it can be malicious. Following treatment, procedures are initiated by the doctors once they are confirmed about the ectopic pregnancy after proper diagnosis.
Once after the thorough diagnosis when it is cleared that you are developing the ectopic pregnancy then the first treatment procedure which is started by the doctors is medication. Different medication will be prescribed to the patient on the basis of severity of her condition and the time duration for which pregnancy is been developed.
If in the very initial stage the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed then it is quite good for the patient as early-stage pregnancy can be treated by applying some medication. It will slowly obstruct the further growth of the embryo and also reduces the risk of further health complications associated with it.
If a very low level of HCG is been developed and the fallopian tissue is still not damaged then the doctor will prescribe for the Methotrexate (Trexall) injection. The Methotrexate is a drug which is injected via injection into your body. This obstructs the further growth of the embryo in the fallopian tissue and also relieves your condition and ensures future normal pregnancy without any complication.
During the time when Methotrexate injection is applied to you, hospitalization is required for the pregnant woman as the doctor needs a regular observation that how effectively the HCG level in your body is decreasing.
If one injection is not showing any effective reduction in the level of body’s HCG hormone then the dosage of injection can be increased from more than one in a day. Some side effects are generally observed because of the Methotrexate dosage of injection such as temporary abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, and diarrhea.
If the pregnancy in the fallopian tissue belongs to a very long duration then a very high chance exists for the damage of fallopian tissue which is a very serious condition, so only medication will not work here. This can be only get treated completely by the application of surgery process.
If the woman who has developed embryo attachment to the fallopian tissue and the level of HCG is very high then it will be very difficult for the doctors to lower the HCG level via Methotrexate injection. This will be treated ultimately by the surgery process only.
Under the condition the fallopian tissue is already damaged because of the embryo growth in it then this creates an emergency medical condition and the affected patient needs to be hospitalized immediately otherwise it can be life threatening too.
There is some patient with the ectopic pregnancy, develops very critical symptoms and within a short span of time only their health condition gets worst. So surgery becomes the only option in the hand of doctors to control the situation and get relieved the patient immediately as because of frequent, diarrhea, abdomen pain, nausea and vomiting the patient gets weaker and cannot survive further in the lack of immediate surgical process.
The Laparoscopic surgery is a very famous surgical process which includes a light cut; one small camera and situation get handled without any damage to the fallopian tube. This is the best surgery process for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy as it doesn’t require any big cut like other types of surgical procedure.
Under the condition, the fallopian tube is already damaged and severe bleeding is happening then the Laparoscopic surgery will not work here. This requires an immediate help so big cuts or scissor are required as even the whole fallopian tube might require being removed to save the patient from danger.
Even after finishing the surgery the doctors keep on checking the level of HCG existing in the body to make sure that the pregnancy is totally removed or not. The Methotrexate injection is also needed to be provided in some cases to ensure the normal health condition.
We hope this blog has cleared your concept regarding the ectopic pregnancy like what it is, what are its causes and its symptoms also. So if you find yourself with these symptoms then never wait further as treatment of ectopic pregnancy can bring back your life to a normal level, also there will be no barrier to future normal pregnancy.