Ectopic pregnancy: causes, symptoms and treatment

Implantation of fertilized ovum other than the uterus tissue is called as ectopic pregnancy

tubal pregnancy is the main form of ectopic pregnancy. Implantation of ovum also occurs in the cervix and ovaries and also can occur in abdomen. great tissue damage occurs at the site of implantation other than the uterus and is very dangerous to health of mother.

Ectopic pregnancies are called as tubal pregnancies because more than 95% pregnancies occurs in the fallopian tube of the mother. tissues other than uterus do not have a nourishing tissue for growing fetus. Hence the implanted embryo bursts as it grows and causes damage to the implanted site.  An ectopic pregnancy does not develop into a complete pregnancy and child birth is not possible.

Causes of ectopic pregnancy

After fertilization the fertilized egg has to be  attached in wall of uterus. In case of ectopic pregnancy egg becomes unable to come down from the fallopian tube to uterus. Inflammation or an infection of fallopian tube  causes ectopic pregnancy.

  • pelvic inflammatory disease ( PID ),
  • Gonorrhea or chlamydial infection,
  • and other infections causes blocking of fallopian tube,
  • partial or complete blockage of fallopian tube,
  • Endometriosis,
  • previous cesarean section,
  • scar formed due to surgery of fallopian tube or abdomen,
  • congenital defects or abnormal growths in reproductive structures.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy

The initial symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to normal pregnancy such as

  • missed period,
  • breast tenderness,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • frequent urination, etc..

symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy are

  • pain in pelvic region,
  • Pain is sharp and stabbing,
  • Unilateral pain occurs as implantation occurs in single side of tube,
  • Rupture of the tube,
  • Internal bleeding at rupture of tissue site,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • lower back pain,
  • dizziness ans painting, etc
  • are the main symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.

Treatment of Ectopic pregnancy

Treatment of an ectopic pregnancy depends on the condition of  woman, size of fertilized egg, implantation of the pregnancy.

An early treatment of ectopic pregnancy includes injection of methotrexate, which disrupts the growth of the embryo and expels it out.

If the duration of pregnancy is long,  surgery to remove the abnormal pregnancy or ectopic is needed. Large incision was made in previous time to perform the surgery to remove ectopic pregnancy and it has become an easy procedure now because of modern technologies. Laparoscopy is the minimal invasive surgical procedure used to remove ectopic pregnancy or to treat ectopic pregnancy

The obstetrician or surgeon makes small incisions in the lower abdomen and then inserts a tiny video camera and instruments through these incisions. The image is caught from camera and is shown on a screen in the operating theater. This  helps the  surgeon to visualize inside of abdomen without making large incisions. The ectopic pregnancy is then surgically removed and other damaged organs are also repaired  if needed.

After surgery the HCG hormone level becomes  zero. HCG hormone level becomes normal after a week of surgery. An elevated HCG could mean that some ectopic tissue is present in the fallopian tube. This ectopic tissue may have to be removed using methotrexate or additional surgery.

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