Ectopic pregnancy is not something you want to hear come out of your doctor’s mouth. This is every woman’s worst nightmare.
Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy
- Sharp Abdominal Cramps
- Dizziness or Weakness
- Severe Shoulder Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting (with pain)
- Pain on One Side of Your Body
- Low Back Pain
- Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
- Mild Pain or Cramping in the Abdomen or Pelvis
- Rectal Pressure
What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches to the Uterine wall. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches in a place other than the Uterus. This could include inside the Fallopian Tubes. This is most commonly called a tubal pregnancy (but also known as an Ectopic Pregnancy).
Unfortunately, it is not possible to move the fertilized egg to the Uterus. It is not a viable pregnancy at this point.
According to the American Pregnancy association, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in about 1 out of 50 pregnancies.
Risk Factors for an Ectopic Pregnancy
Who is at the highest risk for an ectopic pregancy? If you have ever had the following, you are naturally at a higher risk, so please be aware.
- Having a previous ectopic pregnancy
- Prior Fallopian Tube Surgery
- Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Some Sexually Transmitted Infections
- History of Infertility
- Infertility Treatments (such as IVF)
- Older than 35
How is it Diagnosed?
An ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed with any combination of the following:
- Pelvic Exam
- Blood Test- If your HCG levels don’t rise or are slow rising, this may be an indicator of an ectopic pregnancy.
How Can It Be Treated?
There are two options for treatment. Obviously, like I mentioned earlier, this is not a viable pregnancy so it would have to be removed.
- You can take medications to pass it naturally, in the comfort of your home.
- You can have surgery to have it removed.
Your doctor may strongly suggest one option over another depending on your situation.
What Can I Do to Decrease My Risk?
There isn’t much you can do to decrease your risk, but there are some things you can do that may help.
- Limit the number of sexual partners- to avoid sexually transmitted infections
- If you are not actively trying to conceive, you may use condoms more often to reduce your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Quit smoking before you try to conceive.
How to Cope with a Miscarriage
Don’t let anyone tell you this wasn’t a pregnancy. This was just as much a pregnancy than any other out there. It’s hard to blame yourself and wonder if you did something to cause this. I, like many, have suffered more than one miscarriage. Here are some things I do to cope with and heal from my miscarriages.