Tubal Pregnancy

What is it?
Tubal pregnancy, also referred to as ectopic pregnancy, is the number one cause of death of women in the first trimester of pregnancy. With the numbers of tubal pregnancy on the rise, it is important to understand more about tubal pregnancies.

Tubal pregnancy, occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, typically in one of the fallopian tubes. Once conception has taken place the now fertilized egg will usually take four or five days to travel from the ovary to the uterus. However, should the tube be blocked or damaged, or the egg simply fails to reach the uterus, the egg may be implanted in the tube and continue to develop there instead of the uterus.

About one of every 50 pregnancies results in a tubal pregnancy. Unfortunately, no one has yet figured how to transplant the embryo from the fallopian tube to the uterus, so unfortunately the pregnancy needs to be terminated. If it is not picked up and treated, the embryo will simply continue to grow where it is. The damage that can be caused from an tubal pregnancy going unnoticed is serious and in fact can end in death.

How to know if you are at a high risk for tubal pregnancy:

Fallopian tube damage. You're more likely to have tubal pregnancy if you've had any condition or procedure that has damaged the fallopian tubes. Any pelvic infection or surgery puts you at an increased risk for tubal pregnancy.
Tubal ligation puts you at an increased risk for tubal pregnancy.
You've had an tubal pregnancy before
You have taken drugs while pregnant.
Previous history of pelvic inflammatory disease or salpingitis.
If you've been treated for infertility.
- History of endometriosis.

How to know if you are having tubal pregnancy
If during the first three months of your pregnancy you suffer from any of the symptoms below, be sure to contact your health care provider for a proper examination:

Abdominal pain. Either mild or severe, persistent or irregular
Pain while urinating or moving your bowels
Pain in your shoulder. Strangely enough this is more often the symptom of a tubal Pregnancy, this is in fact caused by internal bleeding which aggravate the nerves which run through your shoulder.
Weakness or Dizziness

You may not have an tubal pregnancy, but it could be caused by something else which may need treatment. Please, seek treatment.

How is it treated?

Chemical treatment
This is done with a drug called methotrexate. It is used in non-urgent cases to dissolve the pregnancy without harming the tubes and other organs. Repeat hCG levels will be taken to ensure that the pregnancy is dissolving and that further treatment is not needed.
This is usually done in cases that are further along in their pregnancy or have another medical reason to not use the chemical process. It may be necessary, especially when the tube ruptures or there is other damage. Sometimes the woman will lose her tube and possibly her uterus if the bleeding can't be stopped.

Future pregnancies
Once your recovery is physically underway you may question your ability to have a successful pregnancy. If your tubes were not damaged you have excellent chances of getting pregnant again, although a higher than average risk of having another tubal pregnancy. If your tubes were damaged or removed, you still have pregnancy options.

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