Extrauterine Pregnancy

Extrauterine Pregnancy

An extrauterine pregnancy, also known as an ectopic pregnancy, is a complication of pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. This is a life-threatening condition and treatment is necessary to avoid serious health problems. It is estimated that 1 in 60 pregnancies are extrauterine, but the actual number is not known. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy to occur is in the Fallopian tube, although it can occur in other places, such as in the ovary or abdominal cavity. The risk of extrauterine pregnancy increases with age and other factors, such as prior tubal or pelvic surgery, history of pelvic inflammatory disease, and use of fertility drugs.

The signs and symptoms of an extrauterine pregnancy may vary depending on the exact location. Some common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain – Many women experience abdominal pain, usually on one side, which may range from mild to severe.
  • Vaginal Bleeding – Spotting or vaginal bleeding may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Shoulder Pain – This is caused by the build-up of blood and fluid behind the diaphragm when the Fallopian tube ruptures.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness – This can occur when the body loses too much blood from an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Nausea or Vomiting – This is a common symptom of a normal pregnancy and may also occur with an ectopic pregnancy.

It is important to seek medical attention as soon as you suspect an ectopic pregnancy in order to prevent serious complications. If the egg is implanted in a Fallopian tube, the tube may rupture and cause severe abdominal pain and excessive bleeding. This requires emergency surgery to repair the tube and stop the bleeding. If not treated immediately, an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early treatment is important for the health of the mother and can help prevent serious health complications.