Ectopic pregnancy is characterized by the implantation of the fertilized egg at the site other than the uterus. Symptoms include pelvic pain, bleeding, and rectal pressure. Causes of ectopic pregnancy include fallopian tube disorders and hormonal imbalance. Many women want to know how to prevent ectopic pregnancy; to avoid the risk you must quit smoking and follow a healthy lifestyle.
What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?
During normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg is attached to the lining of the uterus where it continues to grow as a fetus. However, in some cases, the implantation of a fertilized egg and its growth occurs outside the uterus. Such pregnancy is termed as ectopic pregnancy. The site of implantation and growth of a fertilized egg in ectopic pregnancy may be a fallopian tube, cervix, or abdominal cavity. It is important to note that ectopic pregnancies are not viable and do not have normal growth. Ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical interventions. If left untreated, they may lead to serious complications including life-threatening bleeding. Ectopic pregnancy in a fallopian tube, also known as tubal pregnancy, is one of the most common types of ectopic pregnancy. Almost 1 in every 50 pregnancies are ectopic pregnancy as estimated by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Symptoms Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Though some of the symptoms of normal pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy are the same such as soreness in breast and nausea and vomiting. However, women with ectopic pregnancy experience more discomfort as compared to that with normal pregnancy. Some of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include;
- Moderate to severe abdominal pain.
- Pelvic pain.
- Fainting or light-headedness.
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Pressure in the rectal area.
- Shoulder or neck pain.
- The pain is usually at one side of the body.
- Pain during urination or while passing feces.
If you experience any of the above symptoms during pregnancy, consult with the best gynecologist in India. If left untreated, the ectopic pregnancy may rupture or burst the fallopian tube leading to emergency and life-threatening situations.
What Causes Ectopic Pregnancy?
In most cases, the exact cause of ectopic pregnancy remains unknown. However, some of the causes that may lead to ectopic pregnancy include;
1. Fallopian Tube Disorder
Inflammation and damage of the fallopian tube is one of the main causes of ectopic pregnancy. This is due to the obstruction faced by fertilized egg into the fallopian tube.
2. Hormonal Alterations
The hormonal alteration may also lead to ectopic pregnancy. Hormonal changes may impact fertilized egg development.
3. Birth Defects
Birth defects in the fallopian tubes may also lead to ectopic pregnancy.
4. Underlying Medical Conditions
Underlying medical conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and those that affect the anatomy of reproductive organs may also cause ectopic pregnancy.
Risks Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Various factors increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy;
1. History Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Women who already have a prior history of ectopic pregnancy are at increased risk of developing it in future pregnancies.
PROKR1 is the protein that helps in the implantation of the fertilized egg in the womb. However, smokers have an increased expression of this protein in the fallopian tube resulting in ectopic pregnancy.
3. Contraceptive Measures
Various contraceptive measures such as the progesterone-only pill, emergency contraceptive, tubal ligation, and intra-uterine devices increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
4. Surgery Of Fallopian Tube
Surgery to treat any fallopian tube disorder may also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
5. Infertility Treatment
Women who get conceived through In-vitro fertilization are at increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
As age increases, the risk of developing ectopic pregnancy increases.
How To Prevent An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Many will have a doubt of how to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but the exact cause of ectopic pregnancy is not known, there is no way to completely prevent an ectopic pregnancy. However, you can reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy by following below mentioned measures;
- Avoid smoking.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduce the risk of various sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea by using condoms during sexual intercourse.
- The number of sexual partners should be limited.
- Get treatment of Sexually Transmitted Disease as early as possible.
- If there is any disorder in the fallopian tube prefer a salpingectomy rather than tubal repair.
Does Pregnancy Test Detect Ectopic Pregnancy?
The pregnancy testing kit determines the presence of Human Choriogonadotropin hormone (hCG) that is produced during pregnancy. Like normal pregnancy, this hormone is also released during an ectopic pregnancy. Thus, ectopic pregnancy shows on the pregnancy kit. The pregnancy test kit may not be able to detect ectopic pregnancy. However, if you have pelvic pain, bleeding or other symptoms, especially during the first trimester, consult with your gynecologist to rule out the presence of ectopic pregnancy and to get information about what to expect after ectopic pregnancy. If you are at risk, take advice about how to prevent an ectopic pregnancy from your gynecologist.
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, nerve sheath tumor, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, brain metastases, atelectasis, MCAD deficiency, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and metabolic disorder among others.