Unfortunately sometimes complications arise during pregnancies that are unavoidable and heartbreaking in their severity. One such complication is an ectopic pregnancy. This occurs through no fault on anyone’s, mother or doctor. It is just one of the medical circumstances that naturally happens in some pregnancies. They are often devastating to the mother, her partner, and their families and friends. However there are some warning signs to watch for to make sure the woman’s continued health and fertility.
The first thing is to understand specifically what an ectopic pregnancy is. Loosely translated ectopic means “out of place.” This means that the fertilized egg implanted somewhere besides in the uterus. Most commonly, it implanted in the fallopian tubes, but sometimes these pregnancies are found in the ovaries or cervix. They are commonly referred to as tubal pregnancies for this reason. The condition should be treated as quickly as possible as ectopic pregnancy is life threatening for the mother. In cases like this, the pregnancy doesn’t result in a live birth and this is painful and should be treated with respect and dignity by the people closest to the mother.
Many times an ectopic pregnancy causes problems before the woman knows she is pregnant. Severe abdominal pain often sends the woman to the emergency room where a urine sample is collected to test for a variety of different chemicals and hormones. Other symptoms include dizziness, spotting or break through bleeding, and lower back pain. When the sample comes back positive of pregnancy, the staff then has somewhere to start in diagnosing the problem. Other tests used to detect a tubal pregnancy are pelvic exams and ultrasounds. In some cases, if the pregnancy was in its earliest stages, doctors will monitor the woman until the six-week mark when an ultrasound test can be successfully used.
Treatments for ectopic pregnancies have come a long way. The method used is determined by how far along the pregnancy was and if the woman wants to keep her fertility intact. To treat an early tubal pregnancy, the woman can be injection that dissolves the fertilized egg and allows for reabsorbtion into the body. There is no scarring of the reproductive organs with this method. Older ectopic pregnancies may need surgery. Lasers have helped to reduce the amount of damage done to the woman’s body. The woman’s doctors may want to monitor her hormone levels for up to twelve weeks to make sure all signs of the tubal pregnancy were eliminated.
Ectopic pregnancy is a sad, unpleasant event for a woman and her family looking forward to the birth of a child. However with today’s medical advances it is possible to preserve fertility.