Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilised egg implants itself outside of the uterus in the fallopian tubes.

Ectopic pregnancies are the main cause of bleeding during pregnancy. They occur when the fertilised egg implants itself outside of the uterus in the fallopian tubes. This is a dangerous condition because the eggs will then grow inside a lumen of the tube, resulting in rupture and causing severe internal bleeding. It is life threatening and you will require urgent laparoscopy or laparotomy, depending on the case.

How can I reduce the risk?

An ectopic pregnancy may be diagnosed following a vaginal ultrasound, blood tests, laparoscopic surgery, or if the woman is experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding. If detected early, the embryo must be removed. The exact treatment recommended will depend on your symptoms, the size of your pregnancy and the level of pregnancy hormone in your blood. An experienced gynaecologist will be able to detect an ectopic pregnancy early and treat it before rupture; this is the key to saving the fallopian tube that was affected.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are usually noticed between the 4th and 12th weeks of pregnancy.

  • The woman has early pregnancy symptoms, and is looking to confirm whether she is pregnant or not
  • The woman is experiencing some of the normal pregnancy symptoms but with fainting attacks
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding which could be watery and dark brown in colour
  • Abdominal pain, mainly low down and on one side. It can develop suddenly or gradually, and be continuous or intermittent
  • Shoulder-tip pain, felt where your shoulder ends and your arm begins
  • Recurrent discomfort whilst going to the toilet

Symptoms of fallopian tupe rupture include:

  • A sharp, sudden and intense abdominal pain
  • Feeling very dizzy or fainting
  • Feeling sick
  • Looking very pale

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must call us or go to your nearest hospital immediately.

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