In ectopic pregnancy, the sperm normally impregnates the egg, but the develops outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tube. The placenta attaches into the surrounding tissue, which usually ruptures and causes internal bleeding. This tissue can not feed the placenta and the fetus, which means that pregnancy can not continue. Symptoms are persistent and severe abdominal pain, followed by bleeding from the vagina.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs annually in 1 out of 20,000 pregnant women. This type of pregnancy usually occurs without obvious cause – although it is known that women with fallopian tube abnormalities, women who had an operation, women with an infection, or women using an intrauterine contraceptive devices are more endagered.
What to do?
If, during pregnancy, you feel a pain in your stomach that lasts for more than a few hours, contact your doctor. If you delay it, you are exposed to the dangers of strong internal bleeding and shock.
Your doctor will examine you carefully because abdominal pains in ectopic pregnancy can easily be replaced with pains of some other problems, such as abortion, appendicitis, and fallopian tube infection. Your doctor will send you to the hospital where ultrasound will accurately set the diagnosis, although sometimes the diagnosis can only be confirmed by laparoscopy. If the ectopic pregnancy is confirmed, the lost blood is compensated by a transfusion, and the surgery is performed immediately. The operation procedure consists of removing the fertilized egg, placenta and the surrounding tissue, and the ruptured blood vessels are tied. Although ectopic pregnancy may damage the fallopian tube, the next pregnancy should be normal; yet, conceiving possibilities are somewhat weaker.