An Ectopic pregnancy can be asymptomatic, which means there are no noticeable symptoms which makes it difficult to detect extrauterine pregnancies. Unless one is complaining from pain or experiencing continuous bleeding while pregnant, tubal pregnancies are only discovered during a routine ultrasound or physical exam.
Detecting complicated pregnancies can sometimes be challenging during the early stages because the symptoms may not be readily visible or noticeable.
However, some women may not manifest any symptoms at all, making it difficult for medical professionals to detect the problem. Early detection and proper management are crucial in treating complicated pregnancies.
What is an ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy also known as a tubal is a type of abnormal pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube.
Extrauterine pregnancies can also occur in other areas such as the ovary, cervix, or even in a cesarean scar and most of the times they are difficult to detect. Understanding it’s symptoms and getting diagnosed early is very important because if untreated, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening.
Proven causes of extrauterine pregnancies
Below are some of the factors that can contribute to the development of an ectopic pregnancy.
– Previous ectopic pregnancy: Women who have such a condition before are more likely to experience it again.
– Prior surgery in the pelvis or abdomen: Such major surgeries can cause scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes.
– Sexually transmitted infections (STDs) and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause inflammation and scarring in the reproductive organs.
– Pregnancy with an IUD in place: Falling pregnant before removing the IUD.
– History of cigarette smoking: Cigarettes sometimes cause damage to the reproductive organs.
– Older age:- Women who get pregnant past 35 yrs.
– Past use of assisted reproductive technology: Women who have undergone a vitro fertilization or other fertility treatments.
Well known symptoms of a tubal pregnancy
While nausea and breast soreness are common symptoms in both ectopic and uterine pregnancies, certain symptoms are more likely to occur suddenly or develop gradually over time.
One of the earliest warning signs is pelvic pain. This can feel like a sharp, stabbing pain on one side of the abdomen, and it may be accompanied by cramping.
Another common symptom is abnormal bleeding. This can take the form of spotting or heavy bleeding.
Dizziness or fainting. This occurs if the ruptured fallopian tube can cause blood loss and low blood pressure, leading to lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.
Low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and shortness of breath are also symptoms that can indicate an ectopic pregnancy.
How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?
A tubal pregnancy can not be moved to the uterus so after a diagnosis has been made, as long as the fallopian tube has not ruptured, a drug called methotrexate can be used to stop the cells from growing and the body will absorb the pregnancy within 6 weeks.
The longer an extrauterine pregnancy goes undiagnosed, the greater the risk of rupture, which can cause severe bleeding and endanger the mother’s life.
In complicated situations like if the fallopian tube is ruptured surgery can be done either laparoscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the location and size of the pregnancy to be removed.
Is removing an ectopic pregnancy the same as having an abortion?
No, removing an ectopic pregnancy is not the same as having an abortion. While the two procedures may appear similar, the reasons why women perform abortions them are different.
On the other hand, an abortion is a procedure used to terminate a viable pregnancy and it is a decision to often a personal choice made by a woman who is not ready to carry a child to term.
It is important to distinguish between the two procedures to prevent any confusion or misunderstandings about having an abortion and terminating a pregnancy because of medical related reasons. Also society need to understand that women who undergo surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy should not be stigmatized or treated as though they had an abortion.
Recovering from an tubal pregnancy
After surgery, follow-up appointments are very essential for ensuring that you are recovering well without any complications because some women face several physically and emotionally challenges.
It is important to note that recovering from a tubal pregnancy surgery may be different for each patient depending on the severity of the complication, as well as any underlying health conditions.
After surgery, physical discomfort, abdominal pain, cramping, and spotting may continue for some days, but with proper care, joining support groups or speaking to therapists, many women are able to heal from that trauma.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cavewell medical facility or other certified abortion facilities near you if you need a diagnostic checkup or additional support if you suspect any of the warning signs mentioned earlier.