Ectopic pregnancy

n a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants and develops in the uterus. In most ectopic pregnancies, the egg settles in the fallopian tubes. This is why ectopic pregnancies are commonly called “tubal pregnancies.” The egg also can implant in the ovary, abdomen, or the cervix, so you also might hear these referred to as cervical or abdominal pregnancies.

None of these areas has as much space or nurturing tissue as a uterus for a pregnancy to develop. As the fetus grows, it will eventually burst the organ that contains it. This can cause severe bleeding and endanger the mother’s life. A classical ectopic pregnancy does not develop into a live birth.

SYMPTOMS

  • vaginal spotting
  • dizziness or fainting (caused by blood loss)
  • low blood pressure (also caused by blood loss)
  • lower back pain

TREATMENT

Treatment of an ectopic pregnancy varies, depending on how medically stable the woman is and the size and location of the pregnancy.

An early ectopic pregnancy can sometimes be treated with an injection of methotrexate, which stops the growth of the embryo.

If the pregnancy is farther along, a woman will likely need surgery to remove the abnormal pregnancy. In the past, this was a major operation, requiring a large incision across the pelvic area, and this can still be necessary in cases of emergency or extensive internal injury.

That being said there are some rare cases around the world where a mother has had an ectopic pregnancy and has safely given birth to a child, but in most cases the child has been born premature but has survived. However this is extremely rare and in case of ectopic pregnancy the best thing to do is medically terminate the foetus.

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