Understanding Ectopic Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

April 9, 2024

Welcome to Al Hilal Hospitals, where women’s health and welfare are our top priorities. We will discuss ectopic pregnancy in this extensive guide. Ectopic pregnancy is a disorder in which a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can be extremely dangerous to a woman’s health, therefore it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible. At Al Hilal Hospitals, our skilled staff is committed to offering ectopic pregnancy patients sensitive care and efficient treatments. Let’s discuss ectopic pregnancy in detail, covering symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and available treatments.

What is Ectopic Pregnancy?

When a fertilised egg implants and grows outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes, it is known as an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy may, in rare instances, develop in the cervix, abdomen, or ovary. Regretfully, an ectopic pregnancy presents significant health concerns to the woman and cannot progress normally.

Common Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy:

  1. Abdominal Pain: Abdominal pain, which can vary in severity, is the primary symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. The discomfort can be intermittent or persistent, and it is typically experienced on one side of the abdomen. It might also radiate to the shoulder or pelvis.
  1. Vaginal Bleeding: Vaginal bleeding, which can be light or substantial, can occur in women who have an ectopic pregnancy. This bleeding may also be followed by clots and is frequently distinct from a typical menstrual period.
  1. Shoulder Pain: When an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, internal bleeding may result in shoulder pain. This discomfort, which could be severe and sharp, indicates a medical emergency.
  1. Pelvic Pain: Ectopic pregnancies frequently cause pelvic pain, which is comparable to abdominal pain. Movement or sexual activity may exacerbate the pain, which may be restricted to one side of the pelvis.
  1. Dizziness or Fainting: An ectopic pregnancy’s internal bleeding can cause a blood pressure drop, which might result in dizziness or fainting. These signs point to a medical emergency that has to be treated right away.
  1. Rectal Pressure: Some women may have trouble passing stool or experience pressure in the rectum. This may happen as a result of the ectopic pregnancy applying pressure to surrounding organs.
  1. Positive Pregnancy Test: Women who experience ectopic pregnancies frequently test positive for pregnancy. On the other hand, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels may be lower than those in a typical pregnancy.

Schedule a Consultation: Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Al Hilal Hospitals to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled gynaecologists if you think you could be experiencing signs of an ectopic pregnancy, such as abdominal discomfort, vaginal bleeding, or dizziness.

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy:

  1. Fallopian Tube Damage: Damage or obstruction in the fallopian tubes is the most frequent cause of an ectopic pregnancy. This may be the consequence of endometriosis, prior tube operations, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  1. Hormonal Factors: Deviations from normal hormone levels can impact the fertilised egg’s passage via the fallopian tube, potentially resulting in extrauterine implantation.
  1. Previous Ectopic Pregnancy: Women who have previously experienced an ectopic pregnancy are more likely to do so again.
  1. Smoking: Because tobacco use damages the fallopian tubes and lowers fertility, it raises the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy.
  1. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): Because fertilised embryos are transferred into the uterus during procedures like in vitro fertilisation (IVF), women who undertake these treatments may be more susceptible to ectopic pregnancy.
  1. There is 0.02 to 0.05 percent of risk of ectopic pregnancy in women who have IUCD and Mirena as a contraceptive.

Get Emergency Care from Us: Seek emergency medical assistance right away if you have severe abdominal pain, shoulder discomfort, fainting, or extensive vaginal bleeding. At Al Hilal Hospitals, our staff is available to offer assistance and urgent care.

Diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy:

  1. Pelvic Exam: The medical professional may feel a lump or soreness in the pelvic region during a pelvic exam.
  1. Ultrasound: The most used technique for identifying an ectopic pregnancy is transvaginal ultrasonography. The pregnancy’s location can be seen by the healthcare professional thanks to this imaging test.
  1. Blood Tests: To determine the levels of hCG, a number of blood tests may be performed. The hCG level may stall or grow more slowly than anticipated in an ectopic pregnancy.
  1. Laparoscopy: To confirm the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy and to directly visualise the fallopian tubes, a laparoscopy may occasionally be performed. A tiny abdominal incision is used to implant a thin, illuminated tube during this minimally invasive surgical technique.

Treatment Options for Ectopic Pregnancy:

  1. Expectant Management: If the lady is stable and the ectopic pregnancy is extremely early, the doctor may advise watchful observation rather than prompt intervention. Throughout time, the body may reabsorb the pregnancy tissue on its own.
  1. Medication: One drug that can be used to limit the growth of an ectopic pregnancy is methotrexate. For women who want to maintain their fertility, this is frequently the favoured choice. Blood tests must be performed again to make sure the treatment is working.
  1. Surgery: Surgery can be required if the ectopic pregnancy is at risk of rupturing or if it has already done so. The most popular surgical method for removing an ectopic pregnancy and protecting the fallopian tube is laparoscopic surgery.
  1. Salpingectomy: A salpingectomy may be necessary if the ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely removed or if the fallopian tube is seriously damaged. This entails cutting the fallopian tube that is impacted.
  1. Salpingostomy: A salpingostomy may be necessary in certain circumstances, particularly if the woman wishes to maintain her fertility. In order to remove the ectopic pregnancy and preserve the fallopian tube, an incision must be made.

Recovery After Ectopic Pregnancy:

– The course of treatment for an ectopic pregnancy can affect how well a patient recovers.

– Women are advised to refrain from physically demanding activities and sexual activity for a while after surgery or methotrexate therapy.

– Women and their partners may find that receiving emotional support and counselling helps them deal with the loss of the pregnancy and future fertility concerns.

Ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous disorder that needs to be treated right away. Managing ectopic pregnancies requires understanding the reasons, identifying the symptoms, and getting treatment as soon as possible.