What All Pregnant Women Should Know About Ectopic Pregnancy

What All Pregnant Women Should Know About Ectopic Pregnancy

From the time the egg is fertilized until the baby is delivered, the entire pregnancy process requires specific steps inside your body. Among these is when your fertilized egg makes its way to your uterus in hopes of attaching to it. But with an ectopic pregnancy, instead of attaching to your uterus, your fertilized egg might attach itself to your fallopian tube, cervix, ovary, or abdominal cavity.

What’s the Problem with Ectopic Pregnancies?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately one in 50 pregnancies are ectopic in nature. In practically all cases, the pregnancy won’t be viable, which means it won’t result in the birth of a healthy newborn child. And while a pregnancy test might indicate that you’re pregnant, the fertilized egg won’t be able to develop properly anywhere other than your uterus. The main reason for this is that the locations in which the fertilized egg attaches to are not capable of supplying blood, as well as giving other support the uterus typically provides a fetus, for it to survive.

Quick removal of the embryo is critical to the long-term fertility and overall health of the mother. Treatment options vary according to the location and development of the pregnancy.

What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Generally speaking, anything that might hinder a fertilized egg from passing through the fallopian tube, like scar tissue, for instance, increases the risk of the egg attaching to the fallopian tube rather than the uterus. Other potential blockage causes include the ones cited below. It’s vital that you get regular checkups from your ob-gyn or obstetrics specialist in Eagle Mountain or your home town if one or more of the following risk factors apply to you:

  • A past ectopic pregnancy
  • Having a fallopian tube that’s shaped abnormally
  • Fallopian tube inflammation or infection
  • Previous fallopian tube surgery
  • PID or pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Previous surgery on the pelvis, such as a C-section or Cesarean birth
  • A tubal ligation, which is a type of permanent birth control method, that was reversed or failed
  • Endometriosis or endometrial tissue growth outside the uterus
  • Smoking

Why Ectopic Pregnancies are Extremely Dangerous

Pregnant woman in side view

Ectopic pregnancies carry the risk of potentially fatal internal bleeding. In ectopic pregnancies where the egg attaches to the fallopian tube, which is the norm, there’s an increased risk of the fallopian tube rupturing. The reason for this is that the fallopian tube isn’t capable of expanding itself, unlike the uterus that’s capable of growing in size to accommodate a growing fetus.

As the embryo develops, it will press against the fallopian tube’s sides and result in stabbing, sharp pains in the pelvic region, abdomen, neck, and shoulder. When this occurs, the ruptured fallopian tube and embryo should be removed as soon as possible to prevent further complications or even death.

That said, get medical attention right away if you experience warning signs of ectopic pregnancy, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, and fainting or severe lightheadedness, particularly if the risk factors mentioned above apply to you. Getting prompt treatment will lower your risk of developing complications and future health issues.