Nearly 1 out of 50 pregnancies occur outside of the uterus. That is called an ectopic pregnancy; a fertilized egg attaches itself to a place other than inside the uterus, where it needs to grow properly.
Almost all ectopic pregnancies happen in a fallopian tube; thus, ectopic pregnancy is also known as a tubal pregnancy. But fallopian tubes are not designed to hold a growing egg, and the fertilized egg cannot develop properly there.
I have already shared a post related to this topic What Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Feel Like? I hope you read this post.
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At first, an ectopic pregnancy feels like a typical pregnancy. You can have tender breasts, an upset stomach, or nausea during an ectopic pregnancy.
You may also notice other serious symptoms such as:
- Veginal bleeding
- Lower back pain
- Rectal pressure, pain, or cramping on one side of your pelvis
- Sudden or severe pain in the abdomen (may come and go in sharp waves)
- Shoulder or neck pain
- Weakness, dizziness, or fainting
I had earlier shared Lower Abdominal Pain Pregnancy. I hope you read the post.
If you have sudden or severe pain or weakness, you should go to the emergency room.
Ectopic pregnancy back pain
Low back pain is a common sign of ectopic pregnancy because at first ectopic pregnancy can feel like a typical pregnancy.
However, there might be pain in the pelvis, abdomen, shoulder, or neck if blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy builds up and irritates a certain nerve. This pain can be mild to severe.
I also wrote a tutorial on Healthy Pregnancy Week By Week that you can follow.
Ectopic pregnancy diagnosis
If an ultrasound test shows an empty uterus, but the pregnancy test comes positive, the possibilities are:
- An ectopic pregnancy
- A very early normal pregnancy
- A miscarriage.
The ectopic pregnancy appears as a small pregnancy pouch outside the uterus. However, you cannot see evidence of the pregnancy location on a scan.
In such cases, repeated blood tests are suggested to measure the pregnancy hormone levels. In an ectopic pregnancy, the levels are usually lower and rise too slowly.
Must read pregnant women for healthy pregnancy: How Many Abortions in 2021?
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An early ectopic pregnancy without irregular bleeding is mostly treated by stopping cell growth and dissolving existing cells. The medication is given by injection. The diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy must be assured before receiving this treatment.
After the injection, your doctor will recommend another HCG test to determine how well the treatment works and if you need more medication.
Salpingostomy and salpingectomy are 2 laparoscopic surgeries that are used to treat ectopic pregnancies. First, the surgeon makes a small cut in the abdomen, near or in the navel in this surgery. Next, your surgeon uses a thin tube fitted with a camera lens and laparoscope to view the tubal area.
In a salpingostomy surgery, the ectopic pregnancy is removed, and the tube is left to heal on its own. In a salpingectomy surgery, the ectopic pregnancy and the tube are both removed.
Which procedure you should have is depended on the amount of bleeding and damage.
If the ectopic pregnancy causes heavy bleeding, you must need emergency surgery. This can be done by laparoscopy surgery or through an abdominal incision. In some cases, the fallopian tube can save. Typically, a ruptured tube must be removed.
What to expect after ectopic pregnancy surgery?
In the 24 hours after the surgery, you will probably feel tired. You may feel fatigued for days to weeks after the procedure (especially if you have lost an excessive amount of blood).
Pain after ectopic pregnancy surgery
After the surgery, you will have some pain. After the keyhole surgery, it is very common to experience shoulder-tip pain and pain in the abdomen. This is because some undissolved air from the operation is irritating nerves to your abdomen and chest.
The best way to maintain this pain is to mobilize early, and your nurses will help you with this. You will be given pain relief. You will feel pain for some weeks, and it will be sore from walking. You will take some weeks to recover from the after-effects of surgery.
You will have a dressing on your cut. Usually, the skin is closed with stitches that are under the skin and dissolvable. Infection is uncommon, but the wound can become sorer, hot, red, or become oozy.
The following points are important:
- Avoid alcohol and vitamin products containing folic acid until your pregnancy hormone level moves back to zero.
Must follow this post: What Is Folic Acid Used For?
- Avoid anti-inflammatory medicines for one week after treatment. It would be safe to use simple pain medicines such as paracetamol according to the directions on the pack.
- If you own severe pain or heavy vaginal bleeding, you should go to your nearest Emergency room.
- It would be best to use adequate contraception until the methotrexate therapy has been completed and for four months afterward.
You will likely feel sad. For an early-aged woman, the sadness seems to grow deeper and deeper, and the woman finds it challenging to cope with and talk about.
However, help is needed to get back on track. It would be best if you speak to your family doctor if you feel you may need counselling.
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