Starting from the point on conceiving to delivery, pregnancy is a multi-step process that goes on in a woman’s body and it is not very straight forward either. One of these steps takes place when a fertilized egg travel to the uterus to attach itself to the wall. In an ectopic pregnancy the egg will not get attached to the uterine wall and instead may get attached to the fallopian tube, cervix or the abdominal cavity. A pregnancy test may reveal that a woman is pregnant but a fertilized egg cannot properly grow anywhere else apart from the uterus. According to the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) 1 in 50 pregnancies can be ectopic. If an ectopic pregnancy goes untreated, it could potentially cause a medical emergency. Prompt treatment will reduce your risk of complications arising from the matter and will increase your chances of future, healthy pregnancies and decrease future health problems.
What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy?
- Sharp waves of pain in the abdomen, pelvis, neck or shoulder
- Sever pain that occurs on one side of the abdomen
- Light or heavy vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Fainting and dizziness
- Rectal pressure
You should contact a doctor immediately if you know that you are pregnant and have any of the above mentioned symptoms.
Who is at risk for an ectopic pregnancy?
Any woman who is pregnancy can be at risk in general but risk factors can increase if you fall under any of the below categories;
- You are older than 35 years of age
- You have a history of pelvic or abdominal surgery
- You have had multiple miscarriages
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
- Conception occurring despite IUD or tubal litigation
- Pregnancy aided by fertility drugs and procedures
- History of ectopic pregnancy
- History of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) such as Gonorrhea or Chlamydia
- Structural abnormalities in the fallopian tubes that restricts egg movements
If you feel that you may fall under any of these risk categories, speak with your doctor and they will be able to take steps that can help minimize the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.