How to get Pregnant » Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

How to Get Pregnant

Ectopic pregnancy, or tubal pregnancy, as it is often referred to, occurs about one time out of sixty in pregnant women. These pregnancies cannot be saved, and often place the health of the mother in danger. Early diagnosis and subsequent treatment is very important if an ectopic pregnancy has occurred. Ectopic basically means 'out of place.'

What Happens to Cause This

The egg somehow fails to continue down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Perhaps there is scar tissue in the way that has occurred from surgery, abortion, or inflammation from an infection due to a sexually transmitted disease. Whatever the reason, the fertilized egg is unable to exit the fallopian tube and attaches itself to the tube outside of the uterus, hence the name tubal pregnancy. Often, the mother does not know that the ectopic pregnancy has occurred.

Symptoms of a Tubal Pregnancy

Early on, the pregnancy may feel normal. Often, the woman may feel abdominal or pelvic pain that is severe. If the ectopic pregnancy ruptures, there may be pain in the shoulder and neck. Vaginal bleeding can, and usually does occur. Dizziness or fainting may occur from the loss of blood, blood pressure may drop, and there may be pain felt in the lower back. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, getting medical treatment as soon as possible is crucial. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening.

Diagnosing an Ectopic Pregnancy

The first thing the doctor will probably do is order an ultrasound. This exam will show the uterus and whether or not a fetus is developing inside. It will also enable the doctor to tell if there are any abnormal masses present in the abdomen or surrounding areas. Not all ectopic pregnancies can be detected this way, so a pelvic exam may also be given at this time. The doctor may be able to feel any mass and also be able to check the uterus. If you are less than 5 weeks pregnant, it is going to be difficult to arrive at a definite diagnosis, and you may have to return every few days to be examined.

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue. Treatment is going to depend on how far along the pregnancy is and the general overall health of the mother. If the pregnancy is in the early stages, an injection of Methotrexate will stop the growth. Surgery is usually recommended if the pregnancy is more advanced. Laparoscopic surgery can sometimes be done and is a far less invasive a procedure. Regular checkups with the doctor will take place after surgery to monitor the health of the woman and may continue for several weeks.

Getting Pregnant Again

There are a few women who may have some problems if they try to become pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy has occurred. A woman who has had fertility problems in the past may have more difficulty. Each time an ectopic pregnancy occurs the chances of having another one are increased. The amount of damage that has been done by the first one will be an important factor in determining whether or not another pregnancy could happen.