Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg (embryo attaches itself to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. In worst case scenarios, it might cause the fallopian tube to rupture. If the damage is too extensive, the fallopian tube might have to be surgically removed.
Causes of ectopic pregnancies
Under normal circumstances, the egg gets fertilized in the fallopian tube then travels down and gets implanted in the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies arises doe to the inability of the egg to complete its journey to the uterus, often due to blockages. Blockages can be caused by scar tissue from previous surgery or infections. Surgery in the pelvic area sometimes causes problematic adhesions that also result in blockage. An abnormally in the shape of the fallopian tube can also impede the movement of the embryo to the womb.
The symptoms of ectopic pregnancy is hard to detect because they are almost similar to those of early pregnancy. The most common symptoms include:
- A sharp pain either in the pelvis, abdomen, shoulder or neck.
- Vaginal bleeding besides your normal period
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Weakness, dizziness or fainting
Administering Methotrexate is one of the treatment methods of ectopic pregnancy. This method enables the body to absorb the pregnancy tissue, thus saving the fallopian tube. Sometimes surgery is required in the event the tube ruptures or gets too stretched. Laparoscopic surgery under general anaesthesia may be performed. This procedure involves a surgeon using a laparoscope (a fibre-optic instrument inserted through the abdominal wall to view the organs in the abdomen or permit small-scale surgery) to remove the ectopic pregnancy and repair or remove the affected fallopian tube. If the ectopic pregnancy cannot be removed through this procedure, another surgical procedure called a laparotomy may be done. Laparotomy is a surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity.
While ectopic pregnancy can reduce the chances of normal pregnancy, you can still carry a baby to term.