Ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy happens outside of the womb or uterus. It most commonly occurs in the fallopian tubes (tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus). This pregnancy does not usually develop into a fetus and can be potentially life-threatening. Therefore, it is not possible to save the pregnancy. However, the good news is that it is usually occurred rarely (Fewer than 10 lakh cases per year in India). But in any case, urgent medical attention is always recommended.
Learn more about who is at risk, symptoms, and treatment of it.
Who Is at Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy?
There are certain risk factors for ectopic pregnancy. These are,
- Are between the ages of 35 and 45
- Have had previous ectopic pregnancies
- Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Induced abortions
- Using fertility medications
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
It does not always have symptoms that can help you identify it. However, here are a few signs that you need to look out for, or that warrant a visit to the doctor such as a missed period or other signs of pregnancy, tummy ache, vaginal bleeding or brown watery discharge, discomfort when urinating. You may also have other gastrointestinal symptoms coupled with nausea and dizziness. You may have a sharp pain lasting more than a few minutes. Visit your doctor immediately.
Conditions Related to Ectopic Pregnancy
- Miscarriage : A spontaneous loss of foetus before the 20th week.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease : An infection of the female reproductive organs including uterus, fallopian tubes , ovaries, and cervix.
- Hydatidiform Mole : A non-cancerous tumour caused by a non-viable pregnancy.
- Endometriosis : Development of uterine’s inner lining tissue outside the uterus.
- Pre-Eclampsia : A condition that develops in pregnant women, it is marked by high blood pressure and presence of proteins in urine.
- Placenta Previa : A condition where placenta covers the opening of the cervix.
- Chlamydia Infection : A common sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria.
Treating Ectopic Pregnancy
Methotrexate is the drug of choice for removing it. It helps by absorbing the pregnancy tissue and saving the fallopian tube, based on how far the pregnancy has progressed. Another treatment for ectopic pregnancy is laparoscopic surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. Here, the ectopic pregnancy is removed and the fallopian tube fixed as much as possible. If the pregnancy cannot be fully removed with laparoscopy, then a procedure called laparotomy is done. If the tube is stretched or ruptured in any way, then the tube will have to be removed. Early detection of tube rupture or damage is crucial, as a ruptured tube can be life-threatening.
Some of these treatments will reduce your chances of natural conception substantially. Still, many women are able to become pregnant after such treatments. This also depends on your medical history and the cause for it. If the fallopian tubes have been repaired and left in place, you will have a 60% chance of having a successful pregnancy. Make sure to Consult your doctor as early as possible and don’t try self-medication.
Healthcare Plan for Team Members and Family
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