Unlike a conventional pregnancy, in ectopic pregnancies the fertilized egg does not fixate in the uterus, which is the place specially prepared for it. The most common is that the ovum lodges in one of the fallopian tubes, which can be corroborated with an ultrasound, blood tests and pelvic exam. Ectopic pregnancies are incompatible with the normal gestation process insofar as they can cause vaginal pain and bleeding. In some cases, women who have had ectopic pregnancies can even develop fertility problems in the future.
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is one where the egg fertilized by the sperm It is not installed in the uterus, but in another sector of the female reproductive system. Most often, ectopic pregnancies develop in one of the fallopian tubes, known as a tubal pregnancy. However, an ectopic pregnancy can also manifest itself in places like:
- Abdominal cavity
Ectopic pregnancies cannot develop normally because the fertilized egg will not survive the conditions in which it is found, and because the growth of tissue can cause bleeding that puts the mother’s life at risk.
Despite the above, ectopic pregnancy is a type of premature pregnancy loss, which is why many women develop signs similar to those of other types of pregnancy loss, such as miscarriage.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
A medical examination is the only way to determine an ectopic pregnancy with certainty.. For this, the specialist may resort to a pelvic examination, a blood test or an ultrasound.
This is because, at first, an ectopic pregnancy seems to develop as a normal pregnancy, with its typical symptoms such as breast tenderness, missed menstrual periods, fatigue and nausea.
However, ectopic pregnancy will eventually develop unusual symptoms that will set off alarms for the mother and her environment, such as:
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pain in the shoulder
- Great feeling of weakness, dizziness, or fainting
- Urgency to evacuate
If the tubal pregnancy is prolonged, it is quite likely that the woman will experience a tube rupture. The woman is also likely to experience heavy bleeding into the abdomen, which is a life-threatening event.
If this happens, the woman should seek urgent medical attention to prevent a sudden opening of the fallopian tubes. If it happens, this event can put the woman’s life at risk.
It is not common for a fertilized egg implanted in the fallopian tubes to relocate in the uterus, however, this may occur to the extent that it is acted at an early stage of the baby’s gestation, so it is a feasible scenario.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.