Pregnancy / Childbirth

Is this an ectopic pregnancy? Don't ignore it!

Is this an ectopic pregnancy? Don't ignore it!


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When we plan pregnancy, and even when the news about pregnancy surprises us, we imagine that everything will be all right. Meanwhile, this is not always the case. Ectopic pregnancy is becoming more common. Although there are no clear statistics, doctors do not hide that the problem is becoming more common. There is talk of 1 ectopic pregnancy per 100 deliveries, other data indicate 0.5 to 2% of all pregnancies.

Ectopic pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy is a health risk

Ectopic pregnancy is a threat to the health and life of a woman. Undetected in time can have many unpleasant consequences, including the problem of getting into another pregnancy, not to mention the risk of death.

The problem is internal bleeding, which can occur due to the development of the embryo in an unadapted place outside the uterus in the fallopian tube.

Why does the embryo develop outside the uterus?

In normal pregnancy, the egg joins the sperm in the fallopian tube. As a result of contraction of the fallopian tube begins the way to the uterus. There nesting occurs. Unfortunately, sometimes this process is disturbed and the egg encounters an obstacle in the fallopian tube (the fallopian tube is only 4 mm in diameter), so it cannot reach the uterus. The problem may be tubal stenosis, inflammation that prevents you from walking to your destination. The result is implantation of the embryo in the fallopian tube (99% of cases), less often in the ovary or in the cervix.

An embryo outside the womb has no chance for normal development. However, it grows, pushing itself and threatening neighboring organs. If not noticed on time, it can cause a lot of problems. A common effect is the rupture of the fallopian tube or rupture of the cervix if it nests there. Both situations carry a great risk of internal bleeding.

In a few situations, ectopic pregnancy dies by itself. A woman may not even be aware that she was pregnant.

Difficult diagnostics

The problem with ectopic pregnancy is that it is difficult for a woman to diagnose. The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are often the same as those of a normal pregnancy. Menstruation disappears, fatigue, irritability occurs, breasts change, nausea appears, etc. Only in a few situations there are symptoms that alarm a woman.

Ectopic pregnancy can be recognized during ultrasound examination in the doctor's office. If the embryo cannot be seen in the uterine cavity, one can be almost certain that an ectopic pregnancy is developing. Suspicion also appears if the level of HCG does not increase or decrease. For this purpose, a blood test is performed several times and the results obtained are compared.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy

  • unusual, scanty bleeding
  • dizziness, fainting
  • feeling of pressure on the stool,
  • shoulder pain
  • high body temperature
  • pain especially on one side of the abdomen, worsening when coughing, sneezing and walking,
  • low heart rate, pallor of the skin, cold and damp skin, sweating, fast heart rate - these symptoms usually indicate internal bleeding.

The above symptoms should prompt a visit to the gynecologist. There is no delay, time counts.

Are you exposed to an ectopic pregnancy?

There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy. These are:

  • endometriosis - which makes it difficult for you to get pregnant and implant the embryo,
  • construction defects - narrow fallopian tube, overgrown, etc.,
  • frequent adnexitis,
  • ovarian inflammation
  • adhesions resulting from various infections after surgery, e.g. ovarian cysts,
  • previous ectopic pregnancy,
  • frequent untreated bacterial infections
  • frequent change of sexual partner,
  • getting pregnant despite using birth control pills or an IUD,
  • poorly performed fallopian tube ligation
  • advanced age
  • smoking tobacco
  • abortions - increases the risk of ectopic pregnancies twice.

Ectopic pregnancy and what's next?

The first ectopic pregnancy is usually diagnosed in 7-8 weeks of pregnancy. At this stage, the embryo is large enough to require surgery to save the fallopian tube from rupture. It is most often performed using the laparoscopic method. Unfortunately, in some cases the fallopian tube must be removed.

In the case of younger pregnancy, drug treatment is at stake.

One-time diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy when applying for a child requires staying under the care of a doctor. It should be assessed what was the reason for stopping the fertilized egg and how to prevent a similar situation in the future. If menstruation is late, you should see a doctor quickly to see if the egg has reached the uterus safely.