|Defining the problem
In a regular pregnancy, a fertilized egg makes its way through a fallopian tube to the womb. The egg implants in the womb and begins to grow. But in an ectopic pregnancy (also known as an extrauterine pregnancy), an impregnated egg implants in another organ but not the uterus, most often in an oviduct. An extrauterine pregnancy is often brough on by damage to the fallopian tubes. An impregnated egg may have trouble travelling through a damaged tube causing the egg to attach and grow in the tube. Seldom, the egg implants in an ovary, the cervix or the belly. If the egg keeps growing in the damaged uterine tube, it can do damage to or burst the tube and trigger heavy haemorrhage which could be deadly. If you think you have an ectopic pregnancy, you require prompt treatment to cease it before it bring about life-threatening problems.
1. Smoking. The more cigarettes a day you smoke, the higher your risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
2. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is often the solvent of an infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
3. Endometroid heterotopia, which can lead to healing tissue in or around the oviducts.
4. A history of repeated induced abortions.
5. Being exposed to the chemical DES before birth.
Abdominal or pelvic pain, often one-sided, is the first symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. There can also be shoulder and neck pain. The pain is normally acute. Weakness, lightheadedness or fainting can indicate grave internal hemorrhage, requiring immediate medical aid.
An extrauterine pregnancy is diagnosed by means of a pelvic exam, an ultrasound. The most useful lab test is the measurement of the endocrine profile, particularly of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).
Treatment of an ectopic pregnancy is surgery, often by laparoscopy today, to excise the ectopic pregnancy. A perforated Salpinx usually has to be excised. If the tube has not ruptured yet, it may be possible to fix it.
The prognosis for future pregnancies depends upon the extent of the surgery. If the Oviduct has been fixed, the probability of a successful pregnancy is normally exceeds 50%. If a uterine tube has been removed, an egg can be fertilized in the remaining tube, and the chance of a successful pregnancy is lower than 50%.