One of our readers recently lost her pregnancy due to pregnancy complications. She had an Ectopic Pregnancy and lost one of her Fallopian tubes in the process. I felt really sad when I heard the news because I could see the excitement in her when she first shared her pregnancy news.
She has requested that we educate other mums-to-be on Ectopic Pregnancy and other pregnancy complications. This is not to scare you, but to share knowledge. I have been reading and asking questions from doctors. This week, we will be discussing the most common pregnancy complications, but I’ll start with Ectopic Pregnancy.
What is Ectopic Pregnancy?
-Pregnancy in which the foetus develops outside the womb, usually in a fallopian tube.
In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg travels through a fallopian tube to the womb (i.e the uterus). The egg attaches in the womb and starts to grow. But in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches somewhere else, most often in one of the fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes are not designed to hold pregnancy; thus, the fertilized egg in an ectopic pregnancy cannot develop properly and must be treated.
According to Americanpregnancy.org, an ectopic pregnancy happens in 1 out of 50 pregnancies.
What causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?
The cause is not always clear. Experts have linked the following conditions with an ectopic pregnancy:
- Scars in the fallopian tubes from a previous infection or surgery
- medical conditions that affect the shape and condition of the fallopian tubes and reproductive organs
Your doctor may be able to give you more specific information about your condition.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
There are usually no symptoms. Ectopic Pregnancy may only be detected during a routine pregnancy scan. If you have symptoms, they tend to develop between the 4th and 12th week of pregnancy.
Symptoms can include a combination of:
- a missed period and other signs of pregnancy
- sharp waves of pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder, or neck
- severe pain that occurs on one side of the tummy
- vaginal bleeding or a brown watery discharge
- discomfort when peeing or pooing
However, these symptoms are not necessarily a sign of a serious problem. You should contact your doctor if you know you’re pregnant and have any of these symptoms.
Who is at risk?
All sexually active women are at some risk for an ectopic pregnancy. Risk factors increase with any of the following:
- history of pelvic surgery, abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions
- history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- history of endometriosis
- conception aided by fertility drugs or procedures
- history of ectopic pregnancy
- history of STDs
If you have any of the above risk factors, talk to your doctor. You can work with your doctor or a fertility specialist to minimize the risks for future ectopic pregnancies.
How to treat an Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies are not safe for the mother. Unfortunately, it is impossible to save the pregnancy. For the mother’s safety, the embryo has to be removed. Treatment option varies, depending on the location of the ectopic pregnancy.
Can I get pregnant after an Ectopic Pregnancy?
You can absolutely get pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy. Removal of one fallopian tube will not stop you from being a mum. I’ve heard of women who gave birth with one or no tube. I believe in God. Keep the faith! You will rock your pregnancy and carry your own child!
I can’t wait to share your testimony.
References: Healthline.com AmericanPregnancy.org Webmd.com