Understanding Ectopic Pregnancy


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Did you know that symptoms of ectopic pregnancy typically include lower back, abdominal, or pelvic pain. The pain usually gets worse before it gets better and more often than not vaginal bleeding will occur.

I am expecting my first child in March. I have to admit that I was very nervous about ectopic pregnancy and I did not know much about the topic. After doing some research I felt compelled to share what I learned about ectopic pregnancy with all expecting moms.

The first thing we want to do is understand the differences between a normal pregnancy and an ectopic pregnancy. Understanding these differences will not only educate us on the topic, but it will help put that nervous nelly mind to rest!

During a normal pregnancy the fertilized egg enters the uterus. The uterine lining gives the fertilized egg plenty of room to divide and grow (and make your belly big).

During a typical ectopic pregnancy, the egg does not actually reach the uterus, but gets hung up in the Fallopian tubes. As the egg starts to grow this causes the tubes to stretch and get irritated. Typically you will feel extreme pain (you know your body and you will know the difference between this pain and expected pain).

Ectopic pregnancy should not go untreated. If it's left untreated you're at risk of rupturing the Fallopian tube which would cause internal bleeding.

So what causes ectopic pregnancy you ask? Is it me or something I did or did not do? Is it my lack of exercise? Is it my poor diet or my extremely healthy diet? No, no and more no!

There are a few causes for ectopic pregnancy and I will list them here:

1. PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) have a HIGH occurrence of ectopic pregnancy.

2. Your Fallopian tubes have cilia (almost like hair)located on the surface that help carry the fertilized egg to the final resting area the uterus. Some women have damage to this cilia or even blockage of the tubes and this can cause ectopic pregnancy.

3. Tubal ligation can cause cilia damage. The problem is that treatment for ectopic pregnancy is to use tubal surgery which increases your risk for future occurrences.

4. High levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones can slow the egg down as it travels to the uterus. Infertility treatments can cause higher risk of ectopic pregnancies.

Can ectopic pregnancy be treated? What are my options if I am diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy?

There are basically two types of treatment for ectopic pregnancy. Nonsurgical treatment and surgical treatment.

Nonsurgical treatment:

Since 1993 the drug methotrexate has proven to help ectopic pregnancy if taken early on in the pregnancy. Methotrexate can interfere with the growth of the developing egg causing the cessation of pregnancy.

Surgical treatment:

If bleeding has already occurred, surgical intervention is necessary to stop blood loss and reduce the risk of your body going into shock. Most surgeons use laparoscopy or laparotomy for access to the pelvis and can remedy the affected Fallopian tube.

Should you worry about ectopic pregnancy? Of course, what mother would not. Make sure you do not let every ache and pain make you think you're having one. Just remember the things I listed. If you conceived from fertility drugs that does not mean you will have an ectopic pregnancy, but you should monitor and pay close attention to the symptoms. This information is here to educate you and not scare you. Remember to enjoy your pregnancy and good luck with everything.

Rachel Holland writes for http://www.MyVeryFirstBaby.com Please feel free to email Rachel at rholland@myveryfirstbaby.com


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