Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube.
There isn’t anything that can be done to prevent ectopic pregnancy; however, if you think you may be pregnant, you should know the signs of this complication and what to do if you suspect an ectopic pregnancy.
An Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy Can Be Dangerous
Because an ectopic pregnancy is located outside of the uterus, where healthy pregnancies can’t develop and grow, ectopic pregnancies cannot continue safely.
As most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube or abdominal cavity, a growing pregnancy could cause excessive bleeding and on occasion, a ruptured tube. For this reason, it’s important to know the signs of ectopic pregnancy and get specialized, in-person care.
An Ectopic Pregnancy Requires Specialized, Immediate Care
If an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early, it’s possible that only medication will be needed to resolve any complications. However, as more time goes by, it’s likely that surgery will be needed.
Depending on the location or the damage to the fallopian tube or surrounding area, laparoscopic surgery may be the best form of treatment. This is generally a non-invasive surgery that only results in a small incision.
The more time that goes by, the more likely emergency surgery will be needed due to excessive bleeding or a ruptured tube. In this case, more damage to the fallopian tube may occur.
It is also worth noting that the most commonly used abortion pill or surgical abortion do not effectively treat ectopic pregnancies. Due to the location and nature of these complications, specialized, in-person care is necessary.
What are the Symptoms?
Ectopic pregnancies occur in roughly 1 in 50 pregnancies in the United States. It’s important to be aware of the signs of ectopic pregnancy so you can know when you might need to seek further medical attention.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the following symptoms might be early signs of ectopic pregnancy:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Low back pain
- Mild pain in the abdomen or pelvis
- Mild cramping on one side of the pelvis
Additionally, if an ectopic pregnancy becomes a medical emergency such as causing a tube to rupture, the following serious symptoms may be signs:
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis
- Shoulder pain
- Weakness, dizziness or fainting
In the cases of these symptoms, you should go to the emergency room as you may be experiencing internal bleeding.
How Can I Know If Ectopic Pregnancy is a Concern for Me?
One of the best ways to know if you may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy is to seek professional medical care, including an ultrasound. If you think you might be pregnant, get your pregnancy confirmed through medical-grade pregnancy testing.
After your pregnancy is confirmed, an ultrasound can help answer important questions such as where your pregnancy is located – in the uterus, or not.
Specialized, compassionate care is what you will receive at First Care Clinic. Get your questions answered today – schedule your free appointment for free pregnancy testing and ultrasound.