For a healthy pregnancy to occur, an ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube. Moreover, the egg has to come across a sperm within 24 hours of its release. When the two meet each other, fertilization takes place. Normally, the fertilized egg taking three to four days before it moves to the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs the fertilized egg fails to move to the uterus and instead, it grows outside the inner lining of the uterus. In this case, the pregnancy cannot develop properly, and you require immediate treatment. Here is some useful information on ectopic pregnancy pain.
The Causes of an Ectopic Pregnancy
Statistically, an ectopic pregnancy happens once in every fifty pregnancies. Most of them occur in the fallopian tube. It is important to note that this tube lacks the accommodative design that would help it carry a fetus. That means immediate treatment of this complication is critical.
Here are some of the causes of this complication.
• Infection or inflammation may occur in the fallopian tube, blocking it partially or entirely. Blocking of this tube means that the fertilized egg fails to move to the uterus. Instead, it attaches itself somewhere outside the uterus.
• Previous infections or surgical procedures can result in blockages in the fallopian tube hence impeding the eggs from moving to the uterus.
• Adhesions on the tube caused by surgery in the pelvic area are also a possible cause.
• Congenital disabilities and abnormality in pregnancy can alter the shape of the fallopian tube causing an ectopic pregnancy.
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
• Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Women Who Are At a High Risk of Suffering from an Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy may affect any woman who can bear a child. However, the complication is more common in the following women than in other women.
• Those who are in the age bracket of 35 to 44 years old.
• Women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy in the past
• Women who have undergone a pelvic or abdominal surgery
• Women who have undergone several induced abortions
• Women who have undergone tubal ligation or
• Women who have conceived while an UID was in place
• Using fertility medication or using fertility treatment.
Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy occurs in the first four weeks. It is possible for you to be unaware of the pregnancy at this time. In most cases, you might experience normal symptoms of pregnancy. However, the following signs indicate the possibility of having developed an ectopic pregnancy.
• Sharp pelvic pain that comes, goes and varies in intensity. The pain may also occur in your abdomen, neck, or shoulders. Usually, the rupture of an ectopic pregnancy and the subsequent blood that collects below the diaphragm causes it. In this case, calling your doctor immediately is an excellent idea.
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is heavier or lighter than your periods.
• Feeling weak and dizzy followed by fainting.
• Nausea and painful vomiting
Ectopic Pregnancy: Diagnosis
Once you approach your doctor complaining of the above symptoms, he is going to carry out several tests including a pregnancy test and pelvic exam. The latter will determine the source of pain in addition to examining any tenderness or mass in your abdomen. Your doctor will also do an ultrasound to check the condition of your fallopian tube and the uterus. Additionally, he may measure your HCG levels as well. Lower than average levels of HCG confirm that you have an ectopic pregnancy.
Treating an Ectopic Pregnancy
Your physician will treat you depending on your medical history once he confirms that you have this complication. He can treat ectopic pregnancy using any of the following methods.
• Prescription of methotrexate is common among physicians dealing with this type of illness. This drug assists your body when it comes to absorbing the pregnancy tissue. Saving the fallopian tube is possible if the physician discovers the ectopic pregnancy in time.
• In case the pregnancy had ruptured, and you are experiencing profound bleeding, the doctor will work on stopping the bleeding. In other cases, the tube might have overstretched itself. In this case, the doctor has to remove part of it or the whole of it. If doing so is the case, then immediate surgery is necessary to stop the bleeding.
• The doctor may also feel that the best way to remove the ectopic pregnancy is through laparoscopic surgery. This surgery requires the use of anesthesia. During the procedure, the doctor will remove the ectopic pregnancy. He will repair the affected fallopian tube. Removing it is a possibility in case it suffered from severe damage. Laparotomy procedure is necessary in cases where laparoscopic could not work.
Recovering from an Ectopic Pregnancy
You have to check your HCG levels checked regularly after an ectopic pregnancy occurs, until it reaches zero. If your fallopian tubes remain unaffected by this complication, then you have strong chances of conceiving a baby in future. Mostly the doctor will advise you to wait for at least three to six months before you try having a baby.
This time facilitates your recovery process. It also heals you emotionally. Considering professional counseling is an excellent idea in case this condition affected you deeply. Acknowledging the loss and taking the time to mourn for it can be a form of emotional healing. Writing down your experiences in a journal will also help a great deal in healing your hurt feelings.
Minimizing the risk factors
Ectopic pregnancies are painful, both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, preventing them is impossible. However, minimizing the risk is possible. Working on reducing the risk factors is critical. The following measures will reduce the occurrence of ectopic pregnancies.
• Use protection during sex to avoid contracting STDs. In case you get STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, treat them because these illnesses can lead to PIDs.
• Avoid caesarean section because it can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes.
• Avoid the use of tube sterilization reversal as a family planning method.
• Quit smoking.
• Adopt a lifestyle that will help increase progesterone levels in the body.