What Are Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms
Ectopic pregnancies can seem like normal pregnancies in the very beginning, with typical pregnancy symptoms like a missed period, breast tenderness, fatigue, and nausea. Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include:
severe lower belly pain, especially on one side
vaginal bleeding or spotting
feeling very weak, dizzy, or fainting
If you have severe pain or bleeding, go to the emergency room right away. If you have any other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, contact your doctor or nurse as soon as you can. The earlier an ectopic pregnancy is found and treated, the safer youll be.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A Mislocated Pregnancy
Normally, an egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube and becomes implanted in the uterus. However, if the tube is narrowed or blocked, the egg may move slowly or become stuck. The fertilized egg may never reach the uterus, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy may be located in many different places, including a fallopian tube, an ovary, the cervix, and the abdomen.
How To Use Methotrexate Tablet
Methotrexate is a strong medication. The dosage and how often you take this medication are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. There are many different dosing schedules for this medication . Taking this medication the wrong way may cause serious side effects, including death. It is very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor.
For the treatment of psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once a week. It may take up to several months before you get the full benefit of this drug.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
Don’t Miss: Is Kinesio Tape Safe For Pregnancy
When To Seek Help
An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, so it’s important to seek medical help if you notice any of the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy.
Any type of ectopic pregnancy can cause heavy internal bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy located in the fallopian tube can rupture the tube, affecting future fertility.
Virtually all ectopic pregnancies are not viable, meaning they cannot result in a healthy baby, and need to be ended to protect the health of the pregnant woman.
Understand The Causes And Risk Factors
In a healthy pregnancy, an egg typically gets fertilized in the fallopian tube and then travels to the uterus, where it implants. In an ectopic pregnancy, however, experts generally agree that something impedes this journey, essentially blocking the normal progress of the fertilized egg, said Dr. Ecker. It can be due to scarring in the fallopian tubes or other nearby organs, for instance. This can result from past infection with certain S.T.I.s , pelvic inflammatory disease or previous fallopian tube surgery or surgery on nearby organs.
Other risk factors can include:
a previous ectopic pregnancy
being older than 35
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Treatment For Ectopic Pregnancy
A ruptured fallopian tube is a medical emergency. Laparoscopic surgery is done to remove the embryo and attempts are made to repair the fallopian tube. A blood transfusion may also be needed.For non-emergency ectopic pregnancy, medication is often successful, but sometimes surgery is still needed. Any woman thought to have or found to have an ectopic pregnancy will need careful observation. Most women who have had an ectopic pregnancy can become pregnant again, but they will need careful follow up, as their risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher.
Ectopic Pregnancy And Emotions
It is normal to feel distressed after an ectopic pregnancy. It can mean coming to terms with the loss of a baby, with a potential impact on future fertility or, for some, with the thought of having nearly lost their life. In some people, these emotions can develop into depression and anxiety if left untreated.
According to the Miscarriage Association, a person with ectopic pregnancy may be emotionally affected in a variety of ways, including:
Shock: A person may experience shock about the diagnosis, especially in cases where there has been emergency surgery or about what might have happened without diagnosis.
Loss and grief: It is normal to feel grief for the baby that was expected.
Feeling âin limboâ and unable to move on: It is common to feel frustrated at having to wait some time before being able to try again and having to have follow-up and repeated blood and urine tests.
Counseling is available for people affected by an ectopic pregnancy. Support groups are also available and may be able to put a person in touch with others in a similar situation.
A health professional will be able to provide advice on choosing the most appropriate kind of support for a person, couple or family who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy.
Don’t Miss: Can I Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
What Are The Treatments For Ectopic Pregnancy
Treatment options for ectopic pregnancy include observation, laparoscopy, laparotomy, and medication. The selection of these options is individualized. Some ectopic pregnancies will resolve on their own without the need for any intervention, while others will need urgent surgery due to life-threatening bleeding. However, because of the risk of rupture and potentially dire consequences, most women with a diagnosed ectopic pregnancy are treated with medications or surgery.
For those who require intervention, the most common treatment is surgery. Two surgical options are available laparotomy and laparoscopy. Laparotomy is an open procedure whereby a transverse incision is made across the lower abdomen. Laparoscopy involves inserting viewing instruments into the pelvis through tiny incisions in the skin. For many surgeons and patients, laparoscopy is preferred over laparotomy because of the tiny incisions used and the speedy recovery afterward. Under optimal conditions, a small incision can be made in the Fallopian tube and the ectopic pregnancy removed, leaving the Fallopian tube intact. However, certain conditions make laparoscopy less effective or unavailable as an alternative. These include massive pelvic scar tissue and excessive blood in the abdomen or pelvis. In some instances, the location or extent of the damage may require the removal of a portion of the Fallopian tube, the entire tube, the ovary, and even the uterus.
The Possibility Of Pregnancy
Its possible to get pregnant following treatment for blocked fallopian tubes. Your chances for pregnancy will depend on the treatment method and severity of the block.
A successful pregnancy is more likely when the blockage is near the uterus. Success rates are lower if the blockage is at the end of the fallopian tube near the ovary.
The chance of getting pregnant after surgery for tubes damaged by an infection or ectopic pregnancy is small. It depends on how much of the tube must be removed and what part is removed.
Talk to your doctor before treatment to understand your chances for a successful pregnancy.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Donating Plasma While Pregnant
How Is An Ectopic Pregnancy Treated
If an ectopic pregnancy is detected at an early stage, a medication called methotrexate is sometimes needed to stop the egg developing. The pregnancy tissue is then absorbed into the woman’s body.
Methotrexate is not always needed, as in around half of cases the egg dies before it can grow larger.
Ectopic pregnancies detected at a more advanced stage will require surgery to remove the pregnancy sac.
If an ectopic pregnancy is left to develop, there is a risk that the fertilised egg could continue to grow and cause the fallopian tube to split open , which can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.
Signs of a ruptured fallopian tube are:
- sudden, severe, sharp pain
- shoulder tip pain
A ruptured fallopian tube is a medical emergency. If you think that you or someone in your care has experienced this complication, call 000 and ask for an ambulance.
Symptoms Of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Blocked fallopian tubes dont often cause symptoms. Many women dont know they have blocked tubes until they try to get pregnant and have trouble.
In some cases, blocked fallopian tubes can lead to mild, regular pain on one side of the abdomen. This usually happens in a type of blockage called a hydrosalpinx. This is when fluid fills and enlarges a blocked fallopian tube.
Conditions that can lead to a blocked fallopian tube can cause their own symptoms. For example, endometriosis often causes very painful and heavy periods and pelvic pain. It can increase your risk for blocked fallopian tubes.
Also Check: Using Vagisil During Pregnancy
Using Ultrasound For Diagnosis
Another step in diagnosing a suspected ectopic pregnancy is using ultrasound to locate the implanted embryo.
Sometimes a transvaginal ultrasound, in which a thin probe is introduced into the vagina and sound waves are used to create images of internal structures, is performed.
If an embryo is located outside the uterus, a treatment plan is made based on the mother’s overall health, where the embryo is located, and the mother’s hCG levels .
If an embryo is not located, doctors continue to monitor the pregnancy until a diagnosis can be made.
In some cases the diagnosis will be confirmed by inserting a laparoscope a very small viewing instrument into the abdomen through a small incision below the navel.
Medical Management With Methotrexate For Ectopic Pregnancy
Sometimes, an ectopic pregnancy may be treated with a medication called methotrexate. This stops the growth of the embryo and typically allows surgery to be avoided. Medical management may be suitable if a diagnosis has been made very early.
Treatment with methotrexate is an especially attractive option if the pregnancy is located in the cervix or ovary or in the interstitial or the cornual portion of the tube. Surgical treatment in these cases is often associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage.
Methotrexate is administered as an injection, usually a single shot into the buttock muscle. After the injection, there may be an overnight stay in hospital, and regular follow-up visits will be needed for a few weeks to monitor hCG levels until they return to normal. Some people will need a second injection of methotrexate. Very occasionally, surgery will still be required.
Some pain is likely in the first few days after the injection, but this can usually be controlled with paracetamol. Certain substances should be avoided during treatment, including:
- Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs , e.g., ibuprofen or naprosyn, as they can interact with methotrexate and reduce its effectiveness
- Alcoholic beverages, as the liver will be working hard to metabolise methotrexate
- Supplements containing folic acid, as this can interact with methotrexate, preventing it from achieving the desired effect
Recommended Reading: Vagisil Wipes During Pregnancy
How It Is Possible To Get Pregnant After Having Your Fallopian Tubes Removed
First, a little fertility 101: Your fallopian tubes connect your ovaries to your uterus. When conception occurs, an egg is fertilized in one of the fallopian tubes and then travels down to the uterus, where it implants into the uterine lining and grows.
Having your fallopian tubes removed is a form of permanent sterilization, and there are actually different ways to do this, says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an ob/gyn in Texas. Sometimes part of the tube will remain, sometimes its clamped and sometimes its sealed, she explains. You may have also heard of someone having their “tubes tied,” which generally refers to tubal ligation, a procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to try to permanently prevent pregnancy. However, its still possible for a pregnancy to occur after this, Dr. Shepherd says.
When this procedure fails , its usually because an opening occurred in the spot where the tubes used to be, explains Michael Cackovic, M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. A communication can be formed between the ovaries and the opening, and then life finds a way, he says.
How Will I Feel After Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a kind of early pregnancy loss. Many people have the same feelings as those who experience other kinds of pregnancy loss, like miscarriage, especially if they wanted to be pregnant.
You may feel a mix of emotions, including disappointment, shock, fear, grief, and/or relief. These are all normal, and usually feel less intense over time. Your doctor or local Planned Parenthood health center can suggest resources and support groups to help you with your emotions.
Read Also: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Ectopic Pregnancy Signs And Symptoms
Most of the time, an ectopic pregnancy happens within the first few weeks of pregnancy. You might not even know that you’re pregnant and may not notice any problems.
Early signs of an ectopic pregnancy include:
An ectopic pregnancy can cause your fallopian tube to burst or rupture. Emergency symptoms include major pain, with or without severe bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have heavy vaginal bleeding with lightheadedness, fainting, or shoulder pain, or if you have severe belly pain, especially on one side.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
Nausea and breast soreness are common symptoms in both ectopic and uterine pregnancies. The following symptoms are more common in an ectopic pregnancy and can indicate a medical emergency:
- sharp waves of pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
- severe pain that occurs on one side of the abdomen
- dizziness or fainting
- rectal pressure
You should contact your doctor or seek immediate treatment if you know that youre pregnant and have any of these symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Head Lice Treatment While Pregnant
Can I Prevent An Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented. But you can try to reduce your risk factors by following good lifestyle habits. These can include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, and preventing any sexually transmitted infections . Talk to your healthcare provider about any risk factors you may have before trying to become pregnant.
How Is Ectopic Pregnancy Treated
Unfortunately, the only way to treat an ectopic pregnancy is to end the pregnancy. This can be very distressing, and you may need support afterwards to come to terms with what has happened.
Your healthcare team will talk to you about your options and what this means for you. Not all these options will be suitable and will depend on:
- how many weeks pregnant you are
- your symptoms
- if there is a lot of bleeding in your stomach
- your hCG levels
- what is available at your local hospital.
Its important that you understand all your options and what this may mean for you and your ability to get pregnant again . Dont be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to and raise any concerns you have about what is happening.
There are 3 treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy.
Also Check: Lice Treatment During Pregnancy
Symptoms Of Ectopic Pregnancy
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you might experience:
One-sided abdominal pain typically on one side of your abdomen , which can be persistent and severe.
Vaginal bleeding vaginal bleeding is a different type of bleeding from your regular period. It often starts and stops, and can be bright or dark red in colour. Some women mistake this bleeding for a regular period and do not realise they are pregnant.
Shoulder tip pain shoulder tip pain is felt where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. It is not known exactly why shoulder tip pain occurs, but it usually occurs when you are lying down and is a sign that the ectopic pregnancy is causing internal bleeding. The bleeding is thought to irritate the phrenic nerve, which is found in your diaphragm . The irritation to the phrenic nerve causes referred pain in the shoulder blade.
Bowel pain you may experience pain when passing urine or stools.
Why Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Happen
In a normal pregnancy an egg is fertilised by sperm in one of the fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the womb. The fertilised egg then moves into the womb and implants itself into the womb lining , where it grows and develops.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb. It most commonly occurs in a fallopian tube , often as the result of damage to the fallopian tube or the tube not working properly.
Less commonly , an ectopic pregnancy can occur in an ovary, in the abdominal space or in the cervix .
In many cases, it’s not clear why a woman has an ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes it happens when there’s a problem with the fallopian tubes, such as them being narrow or blocked.
The following are all associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy:
- increasing age the risk is highest for pregnant women who are aged 35-40
In around half of all cases, there are no obvious risk factors.
You May Like: Spider Tape Pregnancy