Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancy Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancy Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Many women who want to get pregnant fear ectopic pregnancies, but, although this complication is severe and, possibly life-threatening, the risk of developing it is very small. In fact, just 1% of all pregnancies are ectopic, while all the other 99% of them are normal, healthy pregnancies. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

Even though ectopic pregnancies are rare, you should know a few things about them and their symptoms, so that you are prepared for the worst. Ectopic pregnancies are those in which the embryo does not implant in the uterine cavity, where it should normally do, but outside it. In 98% of the cases, the embryo implants in the fallopian tube, while in the rest of the cases, pregnancy might occur in the ovaries, cervix or abdomen. Ectopic pregnancies are very dangerous, because, if left untreated, they can lead to the death of the mother.

How do you treat it?

The good news is that the high technology nowadays can accurately diagnose an ectopic pregnancy in early stages, and the mother can receive treatment right away. Furthermore, if left untreated, in 50% of the cases, the ectopic pregnancy will resolve naturally, through tubal abortion. If complications appear, such as the risk of tubal rupture, a situation that might cause the death of the mother, surgical interventions are required. The most common types of surgical interventions are laparoscopic surgery or laparotomy.

What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy?

If you are planning to have a baby, you must pay great attention to the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancies. Some of the most common symptoms include pain in the abdomen, while urinating or having a bowel movement, mild or severe vaginal bleeding, in case the pregnancy is in a later stage. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must visit a doctor immediately.

What are the causes of an ectopic pregnancy?

There are several factors that might cause ectopic pregnancies. Some of them are pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal or intrauterine surgery, tubal ligation, or the use of intrauterine devices and smoking.

Can I still conceive a healthy baby after an ectopic pregnancy?

Although most of the time, ectopic pregnancies lead to the death of the baby, there have been cases when healthy babies have resulted from an ectopic pregnancy, so hope exists. Even after a miscarriage or surgery meant to remove an ectopic pregnancy, many women are still able to conceive healthy babies and deliver them on time. Future fertility is influenced by the type of treatment received for an ectopic pregnancy and a prior history of infertility, but the chances of a normal pregnancy are high.

Fortunately, in Western countries, the prognosis of recovery is very well, especially if the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early. Therefore, watch out for the signs, visit your doctor regularly and stop smoking – you will considerably reduce the chance to develop any pregnancy complications.

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.