Ectopic pregnancy refers to when a fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube. Contrary to the uterus, the fallopian tube cannot stretch and is not intended to house a developing foetus. This condition may cause bleeding in the mother. Ectopic pregnancy is a potentially fatal disorder that has to be treated right away.
What are the causes?
Ectopic pregnancy does not always have obvious causes. Disorders that obstruct or prevent the egg from travelling through the fallopian tube and into the uterus are the most frequent causes of ectopic pregnancy. However, in certain instances, the following disorders have been linked to ectopic pregnancy:
- Hormonal factors
- Genetic abnormalities
- Birth defects
- Inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes from a previous medical condition
- Medical conditions that affect the shape and condition of the fallopian tubes and reproductive organs
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What are the Signs?
At first, you may not notice any symptoms. Some women with an ectopic pregnancy, however, experience the typical early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, such as missed periods, breast soreness, and nausea.
Signs and symptoms become increasingly noticeable when the fertilised egg grows in the wrong area. Both ectopic and uterine pregnancies can cause nausea and breast soreness. In an ectopic pregnancy, the following symptoms are more common and can cause a medical emergency:
- Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Sharp abdominal cramps
- Pain on one side of the body
- Dizziness or weakness
- Pain in abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
- Rectal pressure
What are the Treatments Options?
You will need to have the fertilised egg removed since it cannot live outside of the uterus, which might cause serious health issues. Ectopic pregnancy may be treated with medication or surgery.
If your fallopian tube has not burst and your pregnancy is still in its early stages, your doctor may prescribe you a dosage of methotrexate. It stops the cells from proliferating. They will enter your body and be absorbed.
Surgery is seldom necessary after using this medication. When compared to surgery, methotrexate has a lesser risk of causing fallopian tube damage. However, after taking this medication, you won’t be able to get pregnant for a while.
Surgery can be necessary in some cases. The most typical technique for this is laparoscopy. Your doctor will make a few tiny incisions in your lower tummy and insert a laparoscope to remove the ectopic pregnancy.
In the event that your fallopian tube is damaged, the doctor could also need to remove it. You could need emergency surgery to extract the embryo and fix the internal damage with a wider cut if you’re bleeding heavily or your doctor notices a burst fallopian tube. Laparotomy is the medical word for this operation.
Your surgeon will give you detailed advice on how to care for your incisions after the procedure. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is to keep your wounds dry and clean as they heal. Additionally, keep a regular eye out for illness symptoms.
You might anticipate some little blood clots and modest vaginal bleeding following surgery. This may occur anywhere between six weeks and a year after your therapy. After the procedure, you should try to get as much rest as you can, avoid lifting any heavy objects, drink lots of water, and refrain from sexual activity and the use of tampons for a while.
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