Ectopic pregnancy is a condition that occurs when a fertilized egg does not move to the uterus. Instead, it attaches and grows in the fallopian tube. This condition is also often referred to as pregnancy outside the womb.
How dangerous is an ectopic pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition and often occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Generally, it is not easy to keep a baby in an ectopic pregnancy.
How common is an ectopic pregnancy?
Ectopic pregnancy is quite common. This condition can occur to 1 out of 50 pregnant women. Ectopic pregnancy can be treated by reducing risk factors.
Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy
One of the most common causes of an ectopic pregnancy is the damage to the fallopian tubes, due to inflammation. This damage will prevent the fertilized egg from entering the uterus so that it eventually attaches to the fallopian tube itself or other organs. In addition, imbalanced hormone levels or abnormal development in fertilized eggs can sometimes act as a trigger.
ectopic pregnancy symptoms 4 weeks
At first, an ectopic pregnancy tends to be asymptomatic or has a sign that is similar to a normal pregnancy before finally, other symptoms appear that indicate an ectopic pregnancy. The most common symptoms are:
- Lower abdominal pain usually occurs on one side
- Mild bleeding from the vagina
- Pain in the pelvic bone
- Pain or pressure in the rectum during bowel movements
- Painful nausea and vomiting
- Shoulder pain
- If the fallopian tube is torn, heavy bleeding will occur which might lead to loss of consciousness
Ectopic pregnancies can cause medical problems that require emergency treatment. Therefore, you should immediately go to the hospital if you experience these symptoms. In addition to asking for the ectopic pregnancy symptoms 4 weeks that you feel, the doctor will hold a physical examination of the pelvic cavity. But an ectopic pregnancy cannot be ascertained only through a physical examination. Doctors also need to conduct an ultrasound or blood test.
In the early days of pregnancy, especially around four weeks after conception, pregnancy may not be detected by ultrasound. In this condition, the doctor may recommend a blood test to identify an ectopic pregnancy. This test is used to detect the presence of the HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone, which is produced by the placenta during early pregnancy. In ectopic pregnancies, the HCG levels tend to be lower than normal pregnancies.
Steps for Handling Ectopic Pregnancy
The fertilized ovum will not be able to grow normally if it is not in the womb. Therefore, ectopic tissue must be removed to avoid complications that can be fatal.
Women suspected of having an ectopic pregnancy must be immediately taken to the hospital for immediate treatment. Ectopic pregnancies detected early without a normally developing fetus in the uterus are generally treated with injections of methotrexate. This drug will stop the fetus growth while destroying the cells that have been formed.
The doctor will monitor the patient’s HCG level after receiving the injection. If it remains high, the patient will be given another injection of methotrexate.
Ectopic pregnancy can also be treated with surgery. This procedure is usually done through keyhole surgery or laparoscopy. The fallopian tube overgrown with ectopic tissue will be repaired if possible.