05 January

Ectopic pregnancy

In a normal pregnancy, the egg after fertilization with the sperm gets implanted in the wall of the uterus. The uterus becomes the home for the fertilized egg to develop into a fetus over the next nine months. But in some women, the fertilized egg instead of getting implanted in the wall of the uterus may get implanted in one of the fallopian tubes which connect the ovary to the uterus. It may also get implanted on the ovaries, outside the uterus. This is then called Ectopic pregnancy. So an ectopic or tubal pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus.

 The fertilized egg, in this case, is abnormal and cannot develop into a fetus.

 What causes Ectopic pregnancy?

-  Ectopic pregnancy may happen when the fallopian tube is damaged or scarred or blocked,    which could prevent the movement of the fertilized egg.

-  It could also happen due previous infections, like tube infections (salpingitis), pelvic    inflammatory disease (PID), chlamydia, and gonorrhea

  • Previous surgery inside the abdomen, especially involving the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, lower abdomen, or bowels could also lead to ectopic pregnancies.
  • Use of fertility medications at the time of conception

-   Prior history of tubal pregnancy

-   The use of an intrauterine device (IUD) does not increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

 What are the symptoms of Ectopic pregnancy?

Common signs and symptoms being pain abdomen and vaginal bleeding.

 Diagnosis and treatment

Ectopic pregnancy is usually found in the first 5-10 weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound usually done during this time will be able to confirm if it is an intra-uterine (inside the uterus) or extra-uterine ( outside the uterus) pregnancy.

 The most serious complication if an ectopic pregnancy is not detected and treated in time is intra-abdominal bleeding, which could sometimes be fatal.

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We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

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Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 11:35
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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