Ectopic Pregnancy What Every Woman Needs To Know
Ectopic pregnancies are far more common than people think. On average this condition affects one in a hundred pregnancies. Here we discuss the symptoms and the effects this condition has on women.
What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Put simply an Ectopic Pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes, cervix or ovary. It usually happens when the fallopian tube is damaged or blocked and prevents the fertilised egg from reaching its correct destination and therefore it implants itself in the fallopian tube.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic Pregnancies are usually discovered between the fourth and tenth week of pregnancy when the expectant mother will have experienced some of the following symptoms.
- Pain when urinating or opening her bowels
- Vaginal bleeding, which is darker and more watery than a normal period bleed
- Diarrhoea, fainting, vomiting and general pain.
- Persistent pain on one side of the abdomen
- Pain in the shoulder
Can It Affect Any Expectant Mother?
Affecting one in a hundred pregnancies makes this condition a lot more common than most women realise. However there are certain factors, which could make a woman more at risk of an Ectopic Pregnancy.
- If they have had Chlamydia in the past, their chances of having an Ectopic Pregnancy are increased
- If they are over 35
- If they have had a previous Ectopic Pregnancy
- If they have previously had a caesarean section
- If they have a contraceptive coil fitted. Although this prevents womb pregnancies it does not prevent a pregnancy developing in the fallopian tube
- Taking the mini contraceptive pill can slightly increase their chances
- If they have tubal endometriosis.
The Treatment Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
Unfortunately an Ectopic Pregnancy cannot survive. If a pregnant woman experiences any of the above symptoms they should inform their doctor immediately. Treatment will take place at a hospital where they will confirm the pregnancy is Ectopic and then it will be removed. Although this seems very harsh, there is no way the pregnancy can survive and if the fallopian tube ruptures it can prove fatal for the woman.
Life After An Ectopic Pregnancy
Many Ectopic Pregnancies are caught in the early stages before there is any damage to the fallopian tubes. In this case 6 out of 10 women can go onto to conceive naturally. However if the fallopian tube was ruptured or became badly damaged the woman can be left infertile.
Women who have suffered a previous Ectopic Pregnancy face an increased risk of having another one in the future. Unfortunately there is very little they can do to prevent another one. Women who fall into this category would need to ensure they visit their doctor very early on in their next pregnancy to ensure the egg is developing in the correct place.
It is recommended that women who have had an Ectopic Pregnancy wait a few months before trying to conceive again. Obviously this may well depend on what treatment was administered and how severe the Ectopic Pregnancy was.
Many women find an Ectopic Pregnancy difficult to come to terms with and can seek advice from the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust at this difficult time.
Lisa Mills is an author based in Essex. She writes for websites and magazines. She also runs a baby gift box website. http://www.newbabygiftboxes.co.uk is a site offering a baby gift box service and other baby gifts.