About Ectopic Pregnancy
Women's Health - pregnancy tips and adivice

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself at a location outside the uterus. Most of the time, this location is somewhere in the fallopian tubes. Due to this, you may often hear an ectopic pregnancy referred to as a 'tubal pregnancy'. However, the fallopian tubes are not the only places where ectopic pregnancy can occur. A fertilized egg can attach itself to the ovaries, cervix, or other areas.

This condition, regardless of where the egg implants itself, can be dangerous -- even life threatening, for the mother. When an egg begins growing and it is not in the uterus, it can cause the area where it has implanted to rupture, causing dangerous excessive bleeding.

It's important to understand the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy so that you can seek medical attention immediately if you exhibit them. At first, the symptoms may mirror those of pregnancy. A woman with an ectopic pregnancy can exhibit breast tenderness, pregnancy nausea, and missed periods. However, the appearance of stabbing pain is a sure sign there's something wrong. Pain with an ectopic pregnancy usually occurs intermittently and is located on one side of the pelvic region.

There are various reasons why ectopic pregnancy can occur. One common cause is pelvic inflammatory disease, also known as PID. An infection such as this can cause the fallopian tubes to become blocked and prevent the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus.

If you suspect ectopic pregnancy, go to the emergency room right away. Once there, you will be evaluated with a series of tests. If you're experiencing unexplained pain in your abdomen and don't know if you could be pregnant, a pregnancy test will be administered. However, if you're already aware of your pregnancy, an hCG test will be administered. This will measure your hCG level, which can help the doctor determine if your pregnancy could be ectopic.

A pelvic exam is also standard when diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy. Your doctor will search for abnormalities such as growths or bumps. An ultrasound may also be done, so that the doctor can actually see inside your body and verify if you are indeed suffering with an ectopic pregnancy.

Treatment options for a diagnosed ectopic pregnancy vary based on how far along it is. For ectopic pregnancy that is still in an early stage, you will be given a dose of methotrexate. This will allow the egg to dissolve, and once it does, it will be absorbed by your body.

However, if the ectopic pregnancy has progressed to a certain level, you may require surgery to safely remove it. Often, this is performed with the help of a laproscope, or tiny camera. This allows the doctor to perform the operation without having to make large incisions.

The most important thing when it comes to ectopic pregnancy is prompt medical care. So if you think you may be dealing with ectopic pregnancy, don't wait. Get to a doctor or emergency room immediately to ensure you get the care you need as soon as possible. It could mean the difference between life and death.

 
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