Ectopic Pregnancy - All You Need to Know

An ectopic pregnancy or tubal pregnancy can be distressing for a mum-to-be especially if she's been trying to conceive for some time. However it's extremely likely for a normal pregnancy to follow so don't loose heart!

This type of pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg lodges in the fallopian tubes instead if the uterus. It may also end up in the ovary, cervix or abdomen, although this rarely happens.

These pregnancies are potentially dangerous as there is limited space in the fallopian tubes for the baby to develop. This can cause damage to the fallopian tubes and loss of blood. Can an ectopic pregnancy go full term? No. This would be very dangerous to your health and it's best to remove them asap and try again. Delaying could have serious consequences.

Cause of ectopic pregnancy

These types of pregnancies usually form because there is some type of blockage or inflammation of the fallopian tube. This could be due to an disease called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or another infection in the tubes. Endometriosis is another possible cause as is scarring from previous surgical operations.

Symptom of ectopic pregnancy

The first signs are sometimes hard to spot as they're very similar to those of a normal pregnancy. However be on the look-out for a sharp pain, especially in the lower back. Other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy could be spotting with dizziness, but have it checked out first before panicking

Treatment options for ectopic pregnancy

Surgery used to be the only option for removal of the pregnancy, and is still a safe (and sometimes the only) option. However there is now a less invasive option called a laparoscopy. This is performed by making a small incision in the lower abdomen and inserting an instrument called a laparoscope which allows the surgeon to view the organs before using keyhole surgery to remove the egg.

A laparoscopy may need a general anaesthetic or can be done using a local anaesthetic.

Methotrexate for ectopic pregnancy

Methotrexate can be used when the pregnancy is small and the hormone (hCG) levels aren't too high. Methotrexate is given by injection and will dissolve the misplaced egg, allowing the body to reabsorb it. The advantage of Methotrexate is that no surgical instruments are used which removes the chances of scarring of the organs. This increases the chances of future normal pregnancies.

Whichever option you end up taking, the chances of a normal pregnancy in the future is good so stay positive! Don't try too soon however as your body needs to rest and recover and your hormone levels need to return to normal.

Will I have a normal pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy?

The chances of having a normal pregnancy are very high especially if there was no scarring from the removal of the previous one. The chances of another ectopic pregnancy occurring are quite low (around 30%)

So rest you body and spirit and try again later. Don't let the situation get you down, remember your chances next time around will be good!

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