11 Mar 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 342 Articles
From fertilisation to delivery, pregnancy involves several steps. In one of these steps, a fertilised egg travels to the uterus to attach itself. If the fertilised egg doesn’t attach to the uterus and attaches to the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix instead, it is called an ectopic pregnancy.
A fertilised egg cannot grow anywhere other than the uterus. Hence, ectopic pregnancy is fatal for the foetus. Immediate treatment is important to save the expecting mum’s life and increase the chances for healthy pregnancies in the future.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), ectopic pregnancies occur in about one out of every 50 pregnancies.
Causes of An Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg grows outside the uterus. In some cases, the following conditions can also cause an ectopic pregnancy:
Any pregnancy can be at a risk for an ectopic pregnancy. Risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy increase with:
Nausea and sore breasts are the common symptoms in both ectopic and normal pregnancies. However, the following symptoms are more common in ectopic pregnancy:
If an expecting woman has an ectopic pregnancy, the doctor might do an ultrasound to see the position of the developing foetus.
Often, the foetus is too small to see on ultrasound until more than 5 or 6 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period. Hence, if an external ultrasound can’t show the foetus, the doctor might perform the test with a wand-like device in the vagina.
As a fertilised egg can’t survive outside the uterus, it is important for the doctors to take it out. If the fallopian tube (where the egg is implanted) bursts, there can be severe internal bleeding. It can also lead to maternal death. Some of the diagnosis options for an ectopic pregnancy are:
There’s no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy. But you can try to control the risk factors by:
Women who have had an ectopic pregnancy can have healthy and normal pregnancies in the future. So there’s nothing to worry about.
Also Read: Ectopic Pregnancy In Hindi