An ectopic pregnancy is one that occurs outside the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Because the fetus cannot survive and the mom could suffer life-threatening internal bleeding, ectopic pregnancies, which may account for as many as one in 40 pregnancies, are terminated at the earliest sign.
But in an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants itself in the fallopian tube – which leads from the ovary to the womb. Around one in 60 to one in 80 pregnancies are ectopic – and in the vast majority the baby cannot be saved.
Furthermore, what happens if you have an ectopic pregnancy? Ectopic pregnancy, also called extrauterine pregnancy, is when a fertilized egg grows outside a woman's uterus, somewhere else in her belly. It can cause life-threatening bleeding and needs medical care right away. In more than 90% of cases, the egg implants in a fallopian tube.
The fetus rarely survives longer than a few weeks because tissues outside the uterus do not provide the necessary blood supply and structural support to promote placental growth and circulation to the developing fetus. If it's not diagnosed in time, generally between 6 and 16 weeks, the fallopian tube will rupture.
About 1 in every 50 pregnancies in the U.S. is an ectopic pregnancy, which cannot result in a baby. Between 6 to 16% of pregnant women who go to an emergency department in the first trimester for bleeding, pain or both have an ectopic pregnancy. Women have a 15% chance of another ectopic pregnancy after the first one.
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Ultrasound is most useful for identifying pregnancy inside the uterus. — Ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed if the ultrasound detects a fetal heart beat or an embryo that is outside of the uterus. Since ectopic pregnancies may not be detected by ultrasound, the hCG level is also measured.
Ectopic pregnancy represents about 1–2% of all pregnancies with 95% occurring in the fallopian tube. Abdominal pregnancies represent just about 1% of ectopic pregnancies. These pregnancies generally do not get to 37 weeks (term gestation) and usually the end result is the extraction of a dead fetus.
The egg attaches in the uterus and starts to grow. But in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches (or implants) someplace other than the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube. In rare cases, the egg implants in an ovary, the cervix, or the belly. There is no way to save an ectopic pregnancy.
5? Even in the extremely rare cases of live birth by surgery, the mother is at risk as the placenta does not naturally detach and be discharged as afterbirth as in a uterine pregnancy. Sadly, no medical technology currently exists to move an ectopic pregnancy from the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
In many cases of ectopic pregnancy, the fertilised egg dies quickly and is broken down by your system before you miss your period or after you experience some slight pain and bleeding. In these cases an ectopic pregnancy is rarely diagnosed and it is assumed to be a miscarriage.
The diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy may sometimes be difficult, and symptoms may occur from as early as 4 weeks pregnant and up to 12 weeks or even later.
An ectopic pregnancy is often caused by damage to the fallopian tubes. A fertilized egg may have trouble passing through a damaged tube, causing the egg to implant and grow in the tube. Things that make you more likely to have fallopian tube damage and an ectopic pregnancy include: Smoking.
Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosis A qualitative hCG detects human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the mother's urine or blood. A negative pregnancy test does not absolutely rule out pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy; it may simply be too early to detect hCG in the mother's urine or blood.
You might have only one fallopian tube if you've had pelvic surgery for an infection, a tumor or a past ectopic pregnancy. Occasionally, some women are born with only one tube. However, you may still be able to get pregnant with only one tube if: You have at least one functioning ovary.
In other cases, an ectopic pregnancy can be treated with laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made in the abdomen, near or in the navel. Next, your doctor uses a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light (laparoscope) to view the tubal area.
An ectopic pregnancy can be fatal without prompt treatment. For example, the fallopian tube can burst, causing internal abdominal bleeding, shock, and serious blood loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1 and 2 percent of all pregnancies are ectopic.
Most ectopic pregnancies can be detected using a pelvic exam, ultrasound, and blood tests. If you have symptoms of a possible ectopic pregnancy, you will have: A transvaginal ultrasound is used to show where a pregnancy is located. A pregnancy in the uterus is visible 6 weeks after the last menstrual period.
If you take a pregnancy test, the result will be positive. Still, an ectopic pregnancy can't continue as normal.
Signs and Symptoms Often, the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are pain or vaginal bleeding. There might be pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder or neck (if blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy builds up and irritates certain nerves). The pain can range from mild and dull to severe and sharp.
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