Knowledge on Ectopic Pregnancy

In essence, the most important information about ectopic pregnancy is that, it is a known complication of pregnancy that can carry a high rate of morbidity and mortality when not recognized and treated promptly. Ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of pregnancy-related maternal death in the first trimester, usually due to lack of medical intervention that mostly involves a procedure similar to laparoscopy for PCOS treatment in Chennai.


What is Ectopic pregnancy?

The implantation of an embryo outside of the uterine cavity is what is termed as ectopic pregnancy. It most commonly happens in the fallopian tube, induced by tubal dysfunction. Damage to fallopian tubes, usually caused secondary to inflammation, leads to tubal dysfunction when the smooth muscle contraction and ciliary beat within the fallopian tubes may not assist the transport of an oocyte and embryo. This results in retention of an oocyte or embryo, within the fallopian tube, cervix, uterine cornea, myometrium, ovaries or abdominal cavity.

Important causes and risk factors of Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is an impediment in the normal progress of the fertilized egg. For instance, this can be due to scars developed in the fallopian tubes or other neighbouring organs. Past sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea, pelvic inflammatory disease from an infection of the reproductive organ or surgeries previously performed on fallopian tube or nearby organs are some of the main causes for ectopic pregnancy. 

Other than these main causes, important risk factors that can lead to ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Previous history of ectopic pregnancy
  • Medications for infertility 
  • Inappropriate use of assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization
  • Endometriosis, a condition wherein, the tissue that ordinarily form within the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, involving other pelvic organs
  • becoming pregnant with an intrauterine device (IUD) in place
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Being more than 35 years of age

Important signs and symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy usually has the same initial signs of a typical pregnancy such as a missed menstrual period, tender breasts or an upset stomach. Signs that may make it hard to know if it could be a typical pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Low back pain
  • Mild abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Mild cramps on one side of the pelvis

Any such symptoms of abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain should be reported to the gynaecologist so that early diagnosis can be initiated. An ectopic pregnancy can develop serious symptoms especially when it grows big enough to rupture the fallopian tube. Life-threatening internal bleeding can be caused by rupture of fallopian tube. Symptoms of such severity may include:

  • Severe pain that starts suddenly in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Feeling weak/dizzy/faint

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy usually present early enough so that it is possible to arrest the ectopic pregnancy before it becomes an emergency. Bleeding and pain that is not very brief and is more than just mild requires the patient to be aware of diagnostic and interventional procedures, including laparoscopy for PCOS cost in Chennai, so as to make prompt decision and seek timely treatment. 

Ectopic pregnancy is not viable and can be life threatening

An embryo implanted outside the uterus has no chance of growing until surviving to birth. An ectopic pregnancy cannot be moved to the correct location in the uterus through medication or surgery. It is seen in a few rare instances where an embryos grows for 12 to 13 weeks outside the uterus before they die due to insufficient hormone and nutrition supply. But the embryo that is left that long to become large, has every potential risk to rupture the  fallopian tube that it is growing within, causing abdominal haemorrhage and even death. Early pregnancy ultrasounds enable gynaecologists to identify ectopic pregnancy early on and avoid the potential catastrophic bleeding of an abdominal ectopic pregnancy. The most likely treatment to prevent such adverse risks, is to remove the pregnancy through medication or with surgery.

Ectopic pregnancy can impact fertility 

Many women go on to have a healthy, normal pregnancy later on, after an ectopic pregnancy. However, an ectopic pregnancy that can damage the fallopian tube, or is a signal of an already existing condition can increase the risk for problems with future fertility. According to studies, previous ectopic pregnancy can increase the risk for having another, starting at the rate of 1 to 2 %, going up to as much as 15 %. Because of the high risk, the best thing for a woman to do on becoming pregnant again, is to alert the gynaecologist at the earliest so that monitoring for ectopic pregnancy can be started early on.

Ectopic pregnancy can be a traumatic experience

It is common for women to feel guilty after any type of pregnancy loss. It is normal to feel sad, angry, depressed, anxious, irritable, worried, to stay detached or to have lost interest in life after an ectopic pregnancy. There is nothing that could have been done to prevent it and there is nothing that could be done to change it into a healthy pregnancy. It is important to prioritize self-care, such as eating healthfully, exercising, getting enough sleep and getting emotional support from family and friends, in order to recover from the trauma.

Laparoscopy is the most common treatment for Ectopic pregnancy

A woman who may be at risk for an ectopic pregnancy should consult a specialist in laparoscopy treatment for PCOS as soon as there may be signs of pregnancy. Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery because the procedure involves very small incisions in the lower abdomen through one of which a small telescope attached to a camera is inserted to look for the ectopic pregnancy. Through other small incisions, smaller instruments are inserted to remove the ectopic pregnancy. If a fallopian tube is damaged or ruptured, the tube may be removed as well.

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