Ectopic pregnancy represents each and every pregnancy in which the fertilized egg is implanted outside of the uterus, where it then proceeds to develop embryo and the placenta. Common location for ectopic pregnancy is the oviduct, which makes for about 95-98% of ectopic pregnancy cases. This is a life threatening situation for the woman in case it is not treated, with the biggest danger being significant bleeding into the stomach cavity which can cause shock.
How does this happen?
There are two reasons for this to happen – mechanical obstructions in the oviduct as well as irregular peristaltic of the oviduct. The most common reason for obstacles to exist in the oviduct is a previous inflammation and surgeries done on this organ. Over 50% of women with ectopic pregnancy have a medical history of PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), which is a pelvic inflammation condition caused by chlamydia, gonorrhea and other mycoplasmas. Some ectopic pregnancies may be caused by anatomical deformations of the oviduct as well as any damage done with intestine inflammation and other abdominal surgeries. Irregular peristaltic of the oviduct which is usually caused by a lacking function of the ovaries can also cause ectopic pregnancies. The rest of the causes for this to happen are damages done to the muscular layer of the oviduct which is usually caused by tumors in the small pelvis. This causes the overall form and function of the oviduct to change.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Indicators of ectopic pregnancy may vary from person to person, depending on the longevity of the condition and about a possible rupture which made occur inside the oviduct. Most common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are as follows:
- late or lack of menstruation
- positive pregnancy test
- pain on the left or right side of the belly
- irregular bleeding
- loss of conscience
Treatment and prognosis
Treatment of the ectopic pregnancy highly depends on its condition at the time when it should begin. It is possible to treat the condition on your own which usually leads to spontaneous abortion or desorption of the pregnancy inside the oviduct. Methotrexate is a medicine efficient only in the early stages of ectopic pregnancy, considered to be the best way of stopping this condition without doing any permanent damage to the oviducts themselves. Laparoscopy can be performed in the early stages as well, using a camera implant being put deep into the oviduct to surgically remove the embryo without doing any significant damage to the organ. Abdominal surgery can also be performed, representing the most extreme procedure in which the entire oviduct is removed, commonly with the supporting ovary.
Even in a case where you lose an oviduct, you can still get pregnant with the other one and there is a 90% of chance for your next pregnancy to be completely normal. Your health is not endangered as long as you acknowledge this condition and tend to it as quickly as possible. Make sure to visit your gynecologist on a regular basis to make sure your condition is staying within control during the entire treatment process.