Normally during pregnancy, your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube. The egg then meets with the sperm and fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus and continues to grow for the next 9 months. But in some cases or around 1 out of 50 pregnancies, the fertilized egg stays in fallopian tube and that pregnancy is known as ectopic or tubal pregnancy. Rarely fertilized egg attaches to one of your ovaries or another abdomen organ and in either case, instead of enjoying your pregnancy you find your life is in danger.

As it cannot proceed normally and the fertilized egg can’t survive and might the growing tissue destroy various maternal structures, these pregnancies require emergency treatment to save life of women. A huge majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes i.e. around 98%, however rest occur in other abdomen organs including cervix, abdominal cavity and ovary. Most often this type of pregnancy happens within the first week of pregnancy, even when you might not that you are pregnant yet. However doctor itself usually discover it by the 8th week of pregnancy.

While it can be a big shock, it can also be scary and sad. In this type of pregnancy, probably the baby can’t survive, yet in extremely rare cases he or she might, so it’s a big loss to couples that may take some time to get over it. Fortunately if you have an ectopic pregnancy, you will likely to have healthy pregnancy in the future.

Causes of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Damaged fallopian tube that does not let an egg to go into your uterus and implants it in the tube or somewhere else is one of the causes of this type of pregnancy. In some cases, the specific cause of ectopic pregnancies remains a mystery. However some factors that cause tubal pregnancy includes:

  • Past experiences of pelvic inflammatory disease and pelvic surgery
  • Congenital abnormality of the fallopian tubes
  • STDs including gonorrhea
  • Use of fertility drugs
  • Unsuccessful tubal ligation
  • Assisted reproductive technology such as IVF

Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Here are some most often symptoms of this type of pregnancy, if you are experiencing any one of them, contact your doctor immediately. Remember getting quickly to the hospital is important to preserve future fertility and to reduce the risk of severe bleeding.

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Feeling low and pain on one side of your body
  • Shoulder, rectum or neck pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Light vaginal bleeding
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Sharp abdominal cramps

Risks & Complications of an Ectopic Pregnancy

It is estimated that up to 20 out of 1000 pregnancies are ectopic. The risks factors associated with this pregnancy are difficulties with fertility, structural concerns, past ectopic pregnancy, contraceptive choice or birth control pills and inflammation or infections. The complication occurs due to an ectopic pregnancy or a ruptured fallopian tube could lead to life threatening bleeding or death.

Published by Rahul Kh