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Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic Pregnancy
04 April 2022
Ectopic Pregnancy

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

The pregnancy period begins with the fertilization of the egg cell with the sperm cell. Under normal conditions, the fertilized egg is transported to the uterus by the fallopian tubes that carry the eggs to the uterus (uterus). The fertilized egg develops by attaching to the lining of the uterus. However, in the case of ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg settles outside the uterus and begins to develop there.

When an ectopic pregnancy occurs, the pregnancy does not continue normally. The development of the fertilized egg outside the uterus puts the health of the expectant mother at risk. The fertilized egg cannot survive and the growing tissue damages the tissues where it is placed, which causes bleeding in the mother.

What are the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy?

Although typical pregnancy symptoms can be experienced in an ectopic pregnancy, there are some differences with a healthy pregnancy. The most important and common symptoms that indicate an ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Vaginal spotting and bleeding
  • Sharp pain like stabbing
  • Severe pain on one side of the abdomen
  • Disturbances in the working order of the digestive system
  • weight loss
  • dizziness and fainting
  • rectal pressure
  • drop in blood pressure
  • pain in the shoulders
  • nausea, vomiting
  • breast tenderness
  • Dizziness

What are the causes of ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy is a condition that can be seen in all women, so all women with an active sexual life are at risk for an ectopic pregnancy. However, there are some factors that increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Factors causing ectopic pregnancy:

  • Gestational age 35 and over
  • Prior pelvic and abdominal surgery
  • Having had more than one abortion
  • Have had pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) (infections of the upper reproductive organs such as the ovaries and tubes)
  • Endometriosis
  • Having had a previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Conceiving despite using tubal ligation or an intrauterine device (RIA) as a birth control method
  • Pregnancies supported by fertility-enhancing drugs and treatments
  • Presence of scar tissue from previous infections
  • Structural disorders of congenital or acquired reproductive organs
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Smoking

Individuals who have one or more of these risk factors should take precautions to minimize the risk of ectopic pregnancy by talking to their physicians when considering pregnancy.

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

Individuals who have any of the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy should immediately consult a gynecologist. The pelvic region is examined by obstetricians in order to investigate findings such as tenderness, abdominal pain and palpable mass in pregnant women. Some ectopic pregnancies can be identified at this stage. However, the actual diagnosis is made as a result of ultrasonographic examinations. Ultrasonographic examination performed with the help of an instrument placed inside the vagina, called trans-vaginal ultrasound, allows the reproductive organs to be viewed much more clearly than pelvic ultrasound performed from the abdomen. In the transvaginal ultrasound examination, it can be determined whether there is a gestational sac located in the uterus. In addition to these, tests to determine the levels of Beta-HCG and progesterone hormones in the blood are performed by the physician. These hormones, whose levels change during pregnancy, are also applied to diagnose ectopic pregnancy. In some cases, if deemed necessary by the physician, an examination with the help of a needle called cubosynthesis can be used to determine whether there is blood leakage from ruptured fallopian tubes.

Pregnancy should be terminated in pregnant women who are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy as a result of all these diagnostic tests. Otherwise, a heavy internal bleeding will occur with the bursting of the fallopian tubes. This situation will cause the patient to be operated on urgently, cause the fallopian tubes to lose their function and damage other reproductive organs, causing them to lose their ability to reproduce and even put their life at risk.

Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment Methods

If the ectopic pregnancy is not ruptured, treatment;

  • surgical or
  • It includes termination of pregnancy with drug therapy.

If the ectopic pregnancy is ruptured, due to the risk of intense bleeding and shock development;

  • blood transfusion
  • Giving fluids
  • Oxygen support
  • raise your legs high
  • Precautions such as keeping the patient warm are taken and the tube in which the ectopic pregnancy is placed is quickly removed with surgical intervention.

How Long Does an Ectopic Pregnancy Last?

When an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy reaches the size where it cannot grow in the place where it is located, there is tearing in the tissue and intra-abdominal bleeding, and it continues until an acute picture occurs or until medical or surgical treatment is given if the diagnosis is made. Rarely, it regresses spontaneously and is eliminated by the body.

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