The moment you hear your baby's first cry, you enter heaven on earth. Motherhood gives a women the real happiness. Every Mom-to-be and her family is eagerly waiting to see their small beautiful little doll smiling at them. Prior to that, we should take due care in confirming the pregnancy as intrauterine, Which is a normal pregnancy. whereas 1 in every 50 pregnancies, the fertilized egg stays in the fallopian tube, which is called Tubal Pregnancy. In rare cases, The fertilized egg may adhere to one of  your ovaries or another organ in your abdomen, or the horn of uterus or to your cervix. It is life threatening when it is an ectopic pregnancy and emergency treatment is required.

When diagnosed early, you will be saved without any tubal damage. But unfortunately, Ectopic pregnancies are discovered at the first few weeks of pregnancy which is too late for it . Many of them will not know that they are pregnant. Maximum number of cases will be diagnosed only after the tubal rupture. 

The fallopian tubes where the fertlisation of the egg occurs is inelastic, It cannot expand like the uterus as the egg grows. So very shortly within 8 - 12 weeks, It tend to rupture, which leads to severe pain, severe bleeding internally, without timely treatment it is fatal.

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

The main causes are :

1. Pelvic inflammatory disease - Which affects the fallopian tubes like chlamydia trachomatis  or any vaginal infections.

2. Sterilisation -   Family planning surgery where the fallopian tubes are involved.

3. Previous abdominal surgeries - Like Appendicectomy , Caesarean section,  ectopic pregnancy. where the kinking of the fallopian      tube occurs due to the adhesions from previous operations .

4. Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device - The displacement or the expiry of the same when occurs, The fertilised egg stays in the fallopian tube instead of coming into the uterus due to the presence of the contraceptive device .

5. Contraceptive pills - some might lead to change the motility of the cilia in the fallopian tube.

6. Previous ectopic pregnancies  - increase the risk of subsequent ectopic pregnancy.

7. Cigarette smoking - increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

1. Missed Menstrual Periods.

2. Pelvic pain - sharp pains on the side of ectopic pregnancy.

3. Spotting or slight bleeding from vagina  - almost daily which might go unnoticed.

4. Passage of clots from vagina when the ectopic pregnancy is advanced. ie. 2 -3 days before its rupture.

5. Pain at the tip of the shoulder on the side of ectopic pregnancy.

6. Extreme fatigue 

7. Nausea , tender breasts.

Knowing these symptoms helps you to take steps prior to the danger zone.

Symptoms after Rupture of ectopic pregnancy

1. Sudden acute abdominal pain which is unbearable along with the distension of abdomen .

2. Severe Vomiting.

3. Severe Giddiness.

4. sudden Collapse. 

If rupture of the fallopian tube tube occurs, the patient must be immediately admitted in the hospital at emergency and the treatment should be started without any delay to save the life . 

Diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy

1.To detect the ectopic pregnancy at an early stage your doctor will advice for blood test called Beta - HCG levels and subsequent tests will confirm your pregnancy.

2. Ultrasonography of pelvis shows empty uterine cavity with positive pregnancy test which helps you to detect the ectopic pregnancy at the earliest.

3. After rupture of tubal pregnancy, USG pelvis shows frank bleeding inside the abdominal cavity. 

Please be aware of this ectopic pregnancy and educate people around you.

Dr. Jayapriya Tamilarasan