Introduction- The pregnancy starts when a fertilization occurs and fertilized egg travels to the uterus to attach itself. But within the case of an extrauterine pregnancy, the embryo doesn’t attach to the uterus. Rather than, it may attach to the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix.
Ectopic pregnancy is also called extra uterine pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg grows outside a woman’s uterus. In most of the cases, egg implants in tube so it is also called tubal pregnancy. The fallopian tube is not having a power to hold a growing embryo and can’t stretch like a uterus. Due to this bleeding occurs in the mother. So, this is life threatening condition to the mothers.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS :-
The sign and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are –
1. Light vaginal bleeding
2. Shoulder Pain
3. Pain in pelvis and lower abdomen
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS :- The causes of ectopic pregnancy may be:
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Medical conditions which affect the shape of fallopian tube
- Birth defects
Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy may be –
- Age of 35 or more
- Infertility Treatment
- History of surgery of pelvis or abdomen
- Doctor will presumably do tests like Pregnancy test and Pelvic exam.
- Doctor also do an Ultrasound to look at your uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Transvaginal ultrasound – In this a special wand like instrument inserted into your vagina and by this your doctor can see if a gestational sac is in the uterus.
- Doctor will also use a blood test to determine levels of hCG and progesterone.
There are various options to treat ectopic pregnancy like medication, surgery and observation.
In some cases, the doctor prescribes a medication to mothers which is methotrexate which stops the growth of the embryo and terminate the pregnancy. But it does require regular follow-up to determine the level of hcg to find out the effectiveness of drug. If drug is effective, it produces miscarriage like symptoms like bleeding, cramping and passing of tissues.
In severe cases, surgery is preferred which is laparoscopy. By this, the surgeon removes the ectopic pregnancy from the fallopian tube.
There is no step to prevent ectopic pregnancy but reduce the risk of ectopic pregnancy by using different precautionary measures like –
- Quit Smoking
- Using Condom during sexual intercourse to prevent SIDs.
- Good Health Maintenance.
- If any disorder in fallopian tube use salpingectomy.
Mrs. Harshita Jain, Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, Career Point University, Kota