A woman is a beautiful creation of God and more importantly has the sole potential to complete a man’s family. Growing another human inside a womb is a gift from God. But when a woman cannot give birth to a child, that is the most depressing situation for her. Infertility is when a woman is unable to reproduce. The study says, about 10-15% of Americans are affected by infertility every year. Not women, men too can be infertile. In some cases, both the genders fail to reproduce. Top causes like hormonal changes, impairment to the Fallopian tubes, cervical or uterine problems contributes to female infertility. Women wish to give birth, but she faces the unintentional loss of fetus before maturity. Ectopic pregnancy is another type of pregnancy most women face.
As we know, in a normal pregnancy an egg is released by an ovary into the fallopian tube. The egg meets with a sperm and fertilized egg moves into the uterus where it grows for the next 9 months. But in 1 of every 50 cases of pregnancies, the fertilized eggs stays in fallopian tube only. Some other places where it implants are cervix, abdominal cavity or ovary. It is called an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are rare and it needs to be treated immediately. Sometimes, doctors are unable to discover it till 7 weeks of pregnancy.
- Women in the age group of 35-45 years of age are likely to face ectopic pregnancy.
- Already had an ectopic pregnancy before.
- Had an abdominal surgery or abortions.
- Women consuming tobacco or smokes.
- Had taken fertility treatments or medications for fertility.
- Had Pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is one of the serious outcomes caused by bacterial infections like gonorrhea or Chlamydia.
These above mentioned are some major risk factors, that enhances woman’s chances of getting ectopic pregnancy.
Causes of ectopic pregnancy
Rupturing of the fallopian tubes or any type of surgery or abnormality are the causes of ectopic pregnancy. When a woman is indulged in multiple sexual relations, it causes infection in cilia. When infection spreads in pelvic, caused by some sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, chances for ectopic pregnancy develops. Infection is an obstruction in pregnancy. Non sexually transmitted organisms also causes pelvic infection. When cilia (tiny hair like projections) get affected by infection, transportation of an egg into the uterus disrupts.
A woman may come to know about her ectopic pregnancy through some signs and symptoms during her sixth week of pregnancy. Although it may develop anytime between 4-10 weeks, one might not be aware that she is expecting. Symptoms may also occur when a period is due.
Signs of ectopic pregnancy
- Vaginal bleeding: Spotting or bleeding is one of the signs of ectopic pregnancy. One must consult a doctor instead of getting panicky, as it is not necessary that if there is spotting during pregnancy, something is wrong. There might be some other causes of vaginal bleeding like miscarriage, irritation or itching of cervix and implantation bleeding.
- Gradual rise of HCG level- HCG is hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. Hcg test is done by the doctor when there is vaginal spotting. If the level of Hcg rises there might be a possibility of ectopic pregnancy. In case hcg level is low, doctor might do ultrasound to know about the cause or other complications.
- Cramps- Woman having mild cramping during early weeks of pregnancy is normal, but severe cramps or cramp with bleeding could be abnormal. Severe cramps are sign of ectopic pregnancy.
- Feeling dizziness– Due to internal bleeding, a woman may encounter a mild case of dizziness. Improper meal, sleeplessness and anaemia are some causes of dizziness.
- Abdominal Pain on only one side- There is a possibility that a woman may face severe abdominal pain on only one side. Some women do not notice any pain during pregnancy.
- Constipation feeling or gas pain- The rectal area gets pressurized due to internal bleeding, and sometimes it could be mistaken for some gas pain or constipation. One should not ignore severe gas pain during pregnancy and consult a doctor immediately.
- Hypotension- If internal bleeding continues, the chances of low blood pressure in the body is pretty high. This can result in breathing problems and tiredness.
- Pain in shoulders- There could be pain in shoulders after an ectopic pregnancy breaks. Irritation in the nerves after rupturing also results in shoulder pain, this is an indication that the tube has broken. One should consult a doctor if there is shoulder pain along with some other ectopic pregnancy symptoms.
- Nausea and vomiting- Morning sickness and vomiting is something that every woman faces during her pregnancy. So, nausea is a very common symptom of ectopic pregnancy.
- Shock- Due to internal bleeding or breakage of fallopian tube, a woman may go into shock, urgent hospitalization is required because ectopic pregnancies could be really dangerous and life threatening. Fainting, weakness, panic or nervousness are some signs of shock.
So, if a pregnant woman is facing any of the symptoms above, she should immediately rush to the nearest hospital to save her life.
There are infertility treatments for women who cannot reproduce. Fertility treatment benefits those women who have problems with ovulation. Some hormonal injections can be used to solve ovulation problem. Intake of medicines like clomiphene or metformin to treat polycystic ovary syndrome can work too. An ectopic pregnancy can be treated depending on the condition of women and how early it is diagnosed. The choice between medication and surgery may put an end on the pregnancy. The treatment options are available as follows:
- Use of Methotrexate drug-This drug is used to end the ectopic pregnancy. The medication named Methotrexate is used to treat ectopic pregnancies where it is likely to be at least risk of rupturing, causing pregnancy to be reabsorbed. Methotrexate helps to stop the development of dividing cells, like embryo and placenta, cells and it is given in the form of several injections. If the medicine does not work on patient in about 2-4 doses, then doctor performs a surgery to stop ectopic pregnancy.
- Removal of fetus- When an ectopic pregnancy occurs, removal of the fetus and placenta from the Fallopian tube is done. A doctor could use either medication or laparoscopic surgery for the removal.
- Laparoscopic surgery– This is a technique of performing surgery through small incisions. In case, a medication cannot be used to treat women’s health condition, the doctor uses this procedure to insert a thin tube into the abdominal cavity which has a camera and some surgical instruments attached with it.
- Cutting of fallopian tube– when the pregnancy occurs in fallopian tube, doctors cut the tube and leave it to heal. This is done so that damaged tissues from the wound do not affect or block fallopian tube and a woman can easily reproduce next time. Women having one fallopian tube can become pregnant. In some cases, doctors remove the Fallopian tube because it is largely affected by an ectopic pregnancy.
The above treatments will not save a child, but increases the chances for a woman to get pregnant again.
Few women face infertility problems. Treatment and timely check ups help in the development and growth of the fetus. Some cases of ectopic pregnancies are not life threatening, making it really similar to miscarriage. The diagnosis of infertility or ectopic pregnancy at an early stage will prevent odds of becoming pregnant. So, safeguard your life and future for a better and healthy living.
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Also read here: 4 Simple Ways To Avoid Unwanted Pregnancy
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