What you need to know about ectopic pregnancies
Every month, one of your ovaries releases an egg into your fallopian tube. If the egg becomes fertilised by a sperm, it moves to the uterus and implants itself on the uterine wall, where it develops into a foetus. Sometimes, however, a fertilised egg can implant outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy. If an ectopic pregnancy goes unnoticed, it can rupture the fallopian tube, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. In this blog post, we will be looking at the early signs of ectopic pregnancy and the available treatment options.
Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
Diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy can be a bit tricky since most of the signs resemble uterine pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness. However, there are some key signs to know about:
• Severe pain that occurs on one side of the abdomen
• Light vaginal bleeding or a brown watery discharge
• Sharp waves of pain in the shoulder or neck
• Rectal pressure
• Dizziness and weakness
• Sharp abdominal cramps
Diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy
Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above should see their doctor immediately. For a proper diagnosis, they may need to perform:
• A pelvic exam
• A transvaginal ultrasound
• Blood tests to determine progesterone levels and the HCG hormone
What are the treatment options for ectopic pregnancy?
Unfortunately, a pregnancy can’t survive outside the uterus. The embryo won’t develop to term and it also poses serious health risks for the mother. Therefore, the embryo must be removed as soon as possible for the mother’s immediate health and long-term fertility. The treatment method used will depend on the location of the pregnancy as well as its development.
Doctors use methotrexate to stop the ectopic pregnancy from growing. The medication is administered in the form of an injection, and if effective, patients start experiencing symptoms similar to that of a miscarriage.
In advance cases, an ob-gyn may recommend removing the embryo surgically through a laparotomy, so that they can also repair any damage to the fallopian tube.
If you suspect that you have an ectopic pregnancy and are looking for a private gynaecologist or a private obstetrician in London, contact us today for further guidance.