Ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages because the symptoms are often similar to those of a normal pregnancy.
Some common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include:
- Vaginal bleeding: Light bleeding or spotting is common in the early stages of pregnancy, but heavy bleeding or bleeding that is accompanied by abdominal pain or shoulder pain may be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
- Abdominal pain: Pain in the abdomen or pelvis is a common symptom of ectopic pregnancy. The pain may be sharp and stabbing, or it may be a dull ache.
- Shoulder pain: Shoulder pain is a less common symptom of ectopic pregnancy, but it can occur due to bleeding from the ectopic pregnancy that irritates the diaphragm.
- Dizziness or fainting: Ectopic pregnancy can cause bleeding that can lead to dizziness or fainting.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.
What happens if you have an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Because the fertilized egg cannot survive outside the uterus, an ectopic pregnancy cannot result in a live birth. If left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening for the mother.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, your healthcare provider will determine the best course of treatment based on the location and size of the ectopic pregnancy and your overall health. Treatment options may include medication to stop the pregnancy from growing or surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy.
If the ectopic pregnancy is small and located in the fallopian tube, your healthcare provider may prescribe methotrexate, a medication that stops the pregnancy from growing and allows the body to absorb the tissue. If the ectopic pregnancy is larger or located in a different area, such as the abdomen or cervix, surgery may be necessary to remove the ectopic pregnancy.
It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you may have an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.
How do you get ectopic pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. The exact cause of ectopic pregnancy is not fully understood, but there are several factors that may increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs that can damage the fallopian tubes and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- Previous ectopic pregnancy: If you have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, you are at increased risk of having another one in the future.
- Previous surgery on the fallopian tubes: Surgeries on the fallopian tubes, such as a tubal ligation (a form of sterilization), can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- History of infertility: Infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can slightly increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- Smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy by damaging the fallopian tubes and decreasing the blood flow to the reproductive organs.
It’s important to note that ectopic pregnancy is rare, and most women who have an ectopic pregnancy have no known risk factors. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about any potential risk factors and how to reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy.