The Early Symptoms of An Ectopic Pregnancy
It is very crucial for child-bearing women to know more what is an ectopic pregnancy, it’s causes and the treatment management.
Some women may not experience symptoms at first…until an early scan shows or they may develop serious symptoms later on.
What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
An Ectopic Pregnancy is a pregnancy where the baby is developing outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
So during your monthly menstrual cycle, the egg is released from the ovaries, and travels down the fallopian tube, hoping to meet a sperm on the way. In most cases, the egg fertilises, then travels down the uterus before implanting and growing forming a normal pregnancy.
In the case of an Ectopic Pregnancy, once the egg has been fertilised by the sperm, the embryo ’embeds’ itself into the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
Unfortunately, the embryo usually almost always dies as the developing placenta cannot access the rich blood supply the uterus would provide, and the fallopian tube is not large enough to support the growing baby.
Ectopic Pregnancies are very dangerous to the mother. In one out of five cases, the fallopian tube ruptures causing internal bleeding and shock. This is a medical emergency needing immediate surgery and, in some cases, a blood transfusion.
An ectopic pregnancy can also develop in the cervix (entrance to the womb), the abdominal cavity and the ovary itself, but these cases are rare. Around five in 1,000 pregnancies are ectopic.
Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy
The symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy can mimic miscarriage or the symptoms of other reproductive disorders such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometriosis. In the first four weeks of the embryo’s life, the pregnancy will appear as normal. However, after the four-week mark, the embryo is large enough to start noticeable symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy can include:
- the usual signs of pregnancy, such as missed period, morning sickness and breast tenderness
- pain in the lower abdomen
- pain in the lower back
- cramps on one side of the pelvis
- vaginal bleeding or spotting
- sudden and severe pain in the lower abdomen (if the fallopian tube ruptures).
How to Get an Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed?
It is an unfortunate fact that around one in five cases of Ectopic Pregnancy, the pregnancy is diagnosed in the Emergency Room as the fallopian tube has ruptured. However, if you are very early in your pregnancy, an Ectopic Pregnancy can be detected using the following range of tests or procedures:
- A pelvic examination
- Blood tests
- Laparoscopy (‘keyhole’ surgery).
Next Page: Prevention and cure…