There are several stages in the process of getting pregnant. On the 14th day of the menstrual cycle, the ovary releases a mature egg. The mature ovum stays in the fallopian tube for 12 to 24 hours. At this point the sperm egg should be fertilized in the fallopian tube. Once the fertilization process begins, the fertilized egg moves down the uterus. The fertilized egg begins to divide itself and forms a ball called a blastocyst. The blastocyst attaches to the inner lining of the uterus and this process is called implantation. After implantation, pregnancy begins.
Implantation in the uterus is important because the fertilized egg does not survive elsewhere. Implantation in an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube, cervix or abdominal cavity. In most cases of ectopic pregnancy, implantation takes place in the fallopian tube and is called tubal pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy can be fatal due to growing tissue and bleeding.
The causes of ectopic pregnancy are not clear to medical science. In some cases, ectopic pregnancy may be associated with:
- Premature infection, injury, inflammation or change in the shape of the fallopian tubes, due to surgery or medical condition
- Birth defects
- Hormonal factors
- Genetic abnormalities
A woman has an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy under the following conditions:
- Early history of ectopic pregnancy
- Inflammation or infection in the fallopian tube
- Pregnancy while using a birth control device such as cervical or tubal ligation.
- Tubular surgeries
- Maternal age (above 35)
- Pregnancy through assisted reproductive techniques
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is not detected early as it shows symptoms similar to normal pregnancy. Common Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy:
- Missed menstruation
- Irregular bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Syncopal disorder
- Pain in the shoulder, neck or rectum
Diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
An in-depth study of medical history, clinical and urinalysis reveals a diagnosis. The following diagnostic tests are performed to detect an ectopic pregnancy.
Transvaginal ultrasound: A special device is inserted into the vagina to check for the presence of pregnancy shock in the uterus.
Blood tests are performed to determine hCG levels.
Treatment of ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy can be fatal to the mother if not treated early. The growing fetus ruptures and leads to internal bleeding, which is harmful to the mother. The fertilized egg does not fully develop when it is attached to any place other than the uterus. Therefore, it is important to remove the embryo quickly. Therapies to follow:
Medications: If ectopic surgery is in the early stages and there is no transient bleeding, the health care provider may prescribe drugs that stop the growth of the fetus and break down the cells. After medication, the doctor may check HCG levels to determine the status of treatment.
Laparoscopy: Surgery or laparoscopy with a small incision is used to treat an ectopic pregnancy. A small camera is mounted along with the removal device through the vagina. The cameras guide the surgeon in implanting the device. The removal device removes the embryo. This is the ‘Gold Standard Method’ because it involves a small incision and the wound heals quickly.
Emergency surgery: In case of fetal rupture or heavy bleeding, emergency surgery may be required. In some cases, the fallopian tube can be saved by conventional tubal surgery. The tube must be removed if it is in poor condition.
Losing a pregnancy is something that is difficult for a couple, especially a woman, to cope with. The woman should give herself time to heal and grieve the loss. Talking to the therapist can help alleviate the loss. Timely consultation with your gynecologist can help you recover faster. Googles by omni have gynecologists qualified to deal with high-risk pregnancies or ectopic pregnancies. We have the best gynecologist in Vizag.