Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms: What Are the Signs? – babypedia

by pregnancy journalist

The early stage of pregnancy is fraught with difficulties and dangers – one of which, is the ectopic pregnancy. Let’s get down to its definition, the signs and symptoms, the period in which it occurs, whether there is pain or bleeding.

Ectopic pregnancy definition

“Ectopic” refers to an occurrence in an abnormal position, so an ectopic pregnancy refers to a fertilized egg implanting itself outside the uterus. It is also termed a tubal pregnancy or an extrauterine pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants itself in places like the ovary, cervix, the peritoneum, or most commonly, in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies in fallopian tubes make up about 98% of all ectopic pregnancies, while the remaining 2% occurs in the other aforementioned locations.

An ectopic pregnancy is registered as a normal pregnancy by your body, and as the hCG hormone is secreted in your body, a check with a pregnancy test kit will give you a positive result.

What causes an ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy is thought to be due to any of the following 3 problems:

1. Problems with the fallopian tube

The insides of the tubes stick to one another, and this blocks the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus and implanting itself in the uterine lining. Sexual diseases or endometriosis (abnormal growth of tissue outside the uterus instead of inside of it) can trigger inflammation of the tubes and lead to an ectopic pregnancy.

2. Problems with the uterus

If you used long-acting reversible contraception like the intrauterine device (IUD) before or you had experienced an abortion in the past, the insides of the uterus might have changed, and these changes can prevent a fertilized egg from reaching the uterus.

3. Problems occurring while the fertilized egg moves to the uterus

The fertilized egg is supposed to move to the uterus and be implanted there, but it implants itself into the ovary or the abdominal cavity.

Signs of ectopic pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy pain

Even when a fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, there are no detectable symptoms that suggest something is wrong. Like a normal pregnancy, the pregnancy test kit will give a positive result and the woman will miss her period.

The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy usually start around Week 7, and there might be slight bleeding or no pain at all. However, both the bleeding and pain will become more severe as an ectopic pregnancy progresses.

Afterward, an ectopic pregnancy can cause the rupture of the fallopian tube – this heavy loss of blood can cause the woman to go into shock, and threaten the life of the woman. An ultrasound scan at the OB-GYN’s will confirm the presence (or absence) of the gestational sac that is supposed to be in the uterus in normal pregnancies. So, don’t play truant and skip your check up – it could save your life.

When are ectopic pregnancies detected?

An ectopic pregnancy is usually detected around Week 7. As aforementioned, the changes in hormone levels in the body can be picked up by a pregnancy test kit and it will give a positive response. However, unlike a normal pregnancy that has passed Week 7, the gestational sac cannot be detected in the uterus in an ectopic pregnancy.

There is a possibility that you went for the check-up a little too early, and the gestational sac in the uterus hasn’t yet formed and cannot be seen. This could mean that it’s too early to say if it is indeed an ectopic pregnancy. However, you will need to go back for a subsequent check-up soon as leaving an ectopic pregnancy is dangerous. Early detection and early treatment are important.

Should you get a positive result on your test kit, make sure you make an appointment with your practitioner as soon as you can.

Ectopic pregnancy symptoms: Early detection is important!

Be on your guard because an ectopic pregnancy usually catches many off guard because it’s not something most women expect when they see a positive sign on their pregnancy test kits. It’s important that you go for a check-up, and if possible, to find out that it is an ectopic pregnancy before any symptoms start appearing. This could save you much pain and even save your life.

Don’t take anything lightly – even the smallest detail or seemingly innocuous symptom could turn out to be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.

This content was originally published here.

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