What Is An Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancy?
An ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is the one that not normal. In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg is implanted in places other than in the uterus. Some examples of this include the Fallopian tubes, cervix, abdomen, and ovaries. At first glance, this may not seem like that big of a deal. However, once you consider that the role of the uterus is to house a fertilized egg and it is designed to grow and expand, you can begin to understand the problems and complications that can arise. Other parts of the body such as the abdomen are not designed to grow and expand as the fetus grows.
Causes And Pathophysiology Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Actually, there are no known causes of ectopic pregnancy. It is unclear why the egg would implant itself someplace other than the uterus. The pathophysiology of ectopic pregnancy is such that the normal process of egg implantation is somehow disturbed. However, there are some factors that can put a woman at increased risk of ectopic pregnancy such as their age, problems with the fallopian tubes such as prior surgery or inflammation, if the woman already experienced an ectopic pregnancy, and invitro-fertilization can all put someone at risk for it.
Symptoms Of Ectopic (Tubular) Pregnancy
The symptoms of ectopic (tubular) pregnancy can take a while to develop or the woman may not experience any at all. However, as the fetus starts to grow and expand, problems can arise. The uterus is designed for this concept. However, other parts are not. As a result, symptoms such as pain in the area where the egg implanted itself and mild vaginal bleeding can be early warning signs. A major problem, or symptom, of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, is internal bleeding that is usually related to a hemorrhaging of the area where the fetus is developing. This can prove serious and fatal if not treated.
Diagnosing An Ectopic Pregnancy
If any of those symptoms are present, it is wise to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose whether or not an ectopic pregnancy condition is present. There are a few ways that it can be determined. The doctor may diagnose an ectopic pregnancy via ultrasound. Another way to tell is because the hCg level will be elevated in the woman who has an ectopic pregnancy. To determine if the ectopic pregnancy is in the fallopian tube or pelvis, a laparoscopy or a laparotomy can be done so the doctor can see if the fetus is developing there.
Treatment For Ectopic Pregnancy
There are a few treatment options for ectopic pregnancy and the path taken will largely depend on whether or not the woman wants to have anymore children. A drug called methotrexate can be taken to cause a miscarriage. In some cases, it is not a good idea to let this kind of pregnancy continue. Surgery can also be done to remove the developing fetus. In general, it is very difficult and very dangerous to let this condition continue. If an ectopic pregnancy does occur, it can affect the future ability to have children so swift treatment is necessary.
Ectopic Pregnancy – What To Do
As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, it is important to report any symptoms that occur to a doctor. They will be able to help determine if these symptoms are normal or if they determine an ectopic pregnancy. There are some treatment options and it is important to contact the doctor to figure out what to do.