Stereotypically, the nine months of pregnancy is supposed to a happy period for a female. According to Darwin’s theory women are built to provide offspring and this ‘time of incubation’ should be a moment where they are fulfilling their maternal needs. However, there are cases where pregnancy is not pleasant and can have very distressing results for the potential mother. An ectopic pregnancy is one of these cases.
The ectopic pregnancy occurs when the process of pregnancy does not develop in a correct manner. It is seen when a fertilized egg fails to descend the fallopian tube and rest in the womb. Instead, the egg attaches itself to a section of the fallopian tube outside of the womb and begins its incubation in this restricted position. It is rare that an ectopic pregnancy occurs elsewhere; but cases have noted ectopic pregnancies occurring along the pelvic area or abdominal cavity.
The majority of ectopic pregnancies are not dangerous and rarely survive resulting in spontaneous miscarriages; however, others may incubate and cause severe medical difficulties. If the latter occurs, immediate medical attention must be sought.
What causes this type of pregnancy?
In the majority of ectopic pregnancies, the egg has failed to implant itself in the womb and is thus fertilized in the fallopian tubes. It is also very common that the fertilized egg is trapped in the fallopian tube, which is rather dangerous as the baby may continue to develop in this position causing the tube to rupture. A damaged tube can be life-threatening and will require immediate medical attention.
Further risk factors associated with this type of pregnancy is becoming pregnancy whilst utilizing a contraceptive pill, particularly progestogen only options. Females using in vitro fertilization are also at risk of ectopic pregnancy despite the egg being placed directly into the womb.
How can I detect an ectopic pregnancy?
This type of pregnancy is very difficult to detect as the symptoms are identical to the early months of a regular pregnancy. While a pregnancy urine test may be positive, they will not always indicate ectopic pregnancies; instead, a specialized hCG blood test is recommended to identify this type of pregnancy. If the womb is smaller than the average womb at a particular stage of pregnancy, then the chance is likely that you are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. A further internal examination and ultrasound scan conducted by a medical professional can confirm results.
How do I handle this type of pregnancy?
If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy you will more than likely require a surgical intervention and/or medication. In a worst case scenario, this type of pregnancy can be life-threatening to a female if left untreated and undetected. However, the advancements in medical technology have made it easier to detect ectopic situations; as well as offering less intrusive and more effective treatments. The most common treatment is a keyhole surgery — a type of surgery that has lessened the risk of fatality among females experiencing ectopic pregnancies.
Pregnancy can be an enjoyable experience; however there are the cases where it is not. By having more information on ectopic pregnancies you will be better able to manage and handle them.