Ectopic pregnancies can happen to any woman. This condition is terminal for the baby and life-threatening for the mother, so it’s essential to be familiar with it. Read on to learn more.
An ectopic pregnancy is a condition where a fertilized egg develops outside the uterus. Typically a fertilized egg, called an embryo, starts growing in the fallopian tube and moves to the uterus, where it implants for growth. When the embryo stops and implants somewhere else, it is considered an ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are where most of these embryos develop. Unfortunately, there is not enough room for the baby to grow in this location, and the increase in the size of the embryo eventually leads to the rupturing of the fallopian tube. This is a life-threatening condition for the mother, and it needs surgical treatment.
Women who seek medical care at the beginning of the first trimester have a better chance of receiving treatment for ectopic pregnancy before it becomes a problem. Doctors run blood tests at the first appointment and often recommend ultrasounds Knoxville if there is a concern about the mother’s hormone levels or the baby’s development.
Sometimes women may experience a sudden onset of pain on either side of their abdomen, have vaginal bleeding, or faint because of pain or blood loss. These symptoms indicate that the egg may have implanted in the fallopian tube. If you think you may be pregnant and are experiencing any unusual pain or bleeding, see a doctor right away.
If a doctor identifies this condition early enough, there are different treatment options available. There are two options the doctors suggest depending on the mother’s condition and the size of the embryo.
A physician can administer methotrexate, which prevents the pregnancy from developing if the condition is caught early enough. This is a shot that is given in the hospital, and it can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. However, the side effects are short-lived, and this treatment works for 90% of ectopic pregnancies that are caught early. A follow-up blood test is taken a few days after the appointment to ensure hormone levels have dropped and that the pregnancy responds to the medication.
When a pregnancy has developed to the point of imminent rupture, doctors take an immediate approach with surgery. This minor surgery uses a small camera inserted into an incision in your abdomen. Then, tiny instruments are inserted through another incision and are used to remove the embryo and repair the fallopian tube if necessary.
Once you have an ectopic pregnancy, there is a 10% chance that it can happen again. Therefore, it’s essential to seek out a doctor specializing in fertility before getting pregnant a second time. These appointments allow the doctor to closely monitor the development and implantation of the embryo early on.
Some women may also find it difficult to conceive after an ectopic pregnancy. This may be because of scar tissue or problems with the fallopian tubes that may have contributed to the ectopic pregnancy in the first place.