Ectopic pregnancy is an unusual and serious complication where a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube or somewhere outside of the uterus.
Since past thirty years, this has become very common in about 2 out of every 100 pregnant women. This is due to-
- Increase in sexually transmitted infections that cause the scarring in the fallopian tubes.
- Various Infertility treatments.
Ectopic pregnancy may be life threatening due to rupture of embryo within a fallopian tube that may cause internal infection and bleeding. Usually it occurs in any of the 2 fallopian tubes. In rare cases, it may also arise in the ovary, cervix or abdomen.
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Vaginal bleeding
- Neck Shoulder or Rectum pain
- Nausea, dizziness and weakness
- Birth defects
- History of pelvic surgery
- History of ectopic pregnancy
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Multiple sexual partners
- Pregnancy after age of 35 years
- Using fertility drugs or IVF
- Pregnancy with an intrauterine device (IUD)
Diagnosis and Treatment
A pregnancy test and a pelvic exam are performed to confirm an ectopic pregnancy. Once it is confirmed, a suitable treatment is given according to your medical condition.
An embryo cannot survive outside the uterus and this outside tissue needs to be removed to avoid further serious complications. Available treatment options are; medication and surgery.
If pregnancy is not progressed much and fallopian tube is intact, then ‘Methotrexate injection’ is given to prevent the cells growth. This method is recommended to treat most ectopic pregnancies when diagnosed at an early stage.
Surgery is performed when fallopian tube gets ruptured. Here the most common surgical technique used is laparoscopy in which very small incision is given in the lower abdomen to insert a thin ‘laparoscope’ for removing the tissue. Also, a larger incision (laparotomy) is performed in emergency when heavy bleeding is caused due to fallopian tube rupture.
Is there any chance to get pregnant again?
The good news is that it is possible now. As per studies one out of 10 women who have an ectopic pregnancy is likely to get pregnant again. The selection of treatment option is solely depending upon a condition of fallopian tube. You can consult a fertility specialist for the best treatment option based on your medical condition.