Ectopic Pregnancy

The incidence of ectopic pregnancy among all pregnancies is about 0.25-2.0% worldwide and can occur in any sexually active woman of reproductive age. Ectopic pregnancy was reported in 0.91% of pregnant women (with no maternal deaths) in a study done at tertiary care centre in South India.


Ectopic Pregnancy

8 Mins
Updated on:
February 21, 2023
Female Infertility

Ectopic Pregnancy

What is ectopic pregnancy?


Ectopic pregnancy is one that develops outside the womb. Because the embryo is transplanted outside the uterus, this happens. In a natural pregnancy process, the egg in the fallopian tube is fertilised by sperm. Via the tube, the embryo is transported. This embryo enters the uterine cavity after 3 to 4 days.The fallopian tube's smooth muscles contract to move the embryo down the tube. But sometimes the tube becomes blocked or damaged. By doing so, the embryo is kept from entering the womb, and implantation takes place in the tube instead. Tubal pregnancy is the outcome of this.In the fallopian tube, an ectopic pregnancy frequently develops. Additionally, implantation may occur in the cervix, ovaries, or abdominal regions.Tubal disorders may be connected to these pregnancies. A history of pelvic infections, such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or other sexually transmitted infections, is typically to blame for the damage (STIs). Women who have had STIs in the past are more likely to experience an ectopic pregnancy.Women who become pregnant after an episode of ectopic pregnancy are more likely to experience one.Endometriosis and exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) are two additional issues that raise the risk.

What are the symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy?

The signs of an ectopic pregnancy can resemble those of a regular pregnancy. The indications listed below could be helpful in identifying a possible ectopic pregnancy:A positive pregnancy test and ongoing spotting or brown dischargeAbnormal vaginal bleeding that is lighter or heavier than the typical menstrual flowElevated rectal pressureReduced blood pressureWeakness, sleepiness, or faintingA stinging or cutting painThe consequences can be minimized if the ectopic pregnancy is discovered early.

What is the diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy?

This type of pregnancy is identified by performing:History of the patient's condition (the last menses date)Evaluation of the blood's hCG concentration, a pregnancy hormoneAn ultrasound of the uterusPelvic examination to detect abdominal pain, discomfort, or massesThe prenatal hormone hCG has increased in a pattern-like manner. Ectopic pregnancies result in a less-than-ideal development of hCG. By examining the hCG measurement, one can identify the pregnancy stage. When an ultrasound reveals no pregnancy in the uterine cavity despite a blood test revealing a certain hCG value, ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed. Low progesterone levels can be related to an irregular pregnancy (ectopic, eventual loss). In a small number of situations, a laparoscopy is necessary to confirm an ectopic pregnancy. This kind of surgery makes a visual assessment of the abdomen.

How to treat ectopic pregnancy?

Watchful waiting: Since no immediate therapy can be given, the patient's condition needs to be carefully monitored. Limit to females with early ectopic pregnancies who do not typically exhibit any symptoms and have low serum hCG levels (below 1,000 IU/L) without therapy. To identify the cause of the drop in hCG levels, numerous blood tests should be performed. This shows that the ectopic pregnancy is being terminated naturally.Medication: Where the hCG level is below 1500 IU/L and the diameter of the adnexal mass on ultrasound is below 3.5–4 cm, medical therapy may be administered. You can treat ectopic pregnancy by administering the drug methotrexate. After administering the medication, the patient is carefully watched over for an hour. The adverse effects of this medication may include sleepiness, nausea, loose stools, mouth sores, abdominal pain, and nausea. The patient's hCG levels are checked again after 5 days. The patient needs to go to the hospital right away if they get significant abdominal pain during those five days.Laparoscopy is widely used in surgery. Laparoscopic salpingostomy may be performed if an ectopic pregnancy is identified early, before the tube ruptures. In this procedure, the fallopian tube is opened, the pregnant tissue is removed, and the tube is then left in its natural position.

Is there any effect of ectopic pregnancy on fertility?

Yes, perhaps. A woman who has previously experienced an ectopic pregnancy is more likely to do so again. She may also have a lower chance of becoming pregnant unexpectedly. However, the majority of females still successfully become pregnant, whether spontaneously or with the help of assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF.After the initial ectopic pregnancy, women have a 10 to 15% chance of experiencing a subsequent one. The fallopian tubes can be surgically blocked if ectopic pregnancies continue to occur. This avoids the possibility of further tubal pregnancy. After that, they might start an IVF procedure.

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You will have much more hormones rushing through your body than usual as a result of all the hormone injections required during IVF. You might feel cranky, bloated, or even high libido as a result of that. It's not uncommon for women to gain a little weight. Hormone injections can affect your weight and also your hunger levels, along with changes in your emotions. Expect some changes to happen in your body and mind.

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Can I smoke during IVF treatment?

Smoking is a strict "No" if you’re looking to get pregnant. This is applicable to both men and women. Smoking has shown to have a big impact on the quality of the sperms and eggs and hence it’s advisable that you quit smoking if you’re planning to start a family.

What are the steps involved in IVF treatment?

A step by step guide to IVF treatment is conveyed in this video by our Medical Director – Dr Vani Sundarapandian..

Can I work and commute when undergoing IVF treatment?

This can only be suggested on a case to case basis depending on the various factors associated with the patient, such as age, medical condition, quality of eggs/sperms etc.

At what age is IVF most successful?

IVF success rates vary as it depends on multiple factors. One of these major factors is age. The success rate is almost 55-60% in women who are less than 35 years of age. The success rate goes down as the woman’s age increases. Ideally, the 20s and 30s are the best age to have a successful IVF.

How do I prepare my body for IVF?

It's pretty doable. Begin taking prenatal supplements, keep a healthy weight, stop using drugs, drinking alcohol, or smoking, avoid serious infectious infections, which could cause a delay in treatment, and reduce consuming caffeine. Basically, maintain a healthy body by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

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Some women report having minimal to no reactions, while others say they are extremely anxious or even depressed. So be aware that you can experience an emotional response to the hormone changes; if you do, this is completely normal and okay.

How long should I try before deciding to see a fertility specialist?

If you’re unable to conceive after a year of actively trying to conceive, then you should consult a doctor.

Is IVF painful?

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Can i drink alcohol during IVF treatment?

Drinking is strictly discouraged while prepping for IVF. Some studies have shown that alcohol may have an effect on the outcome of IVF.

Do IVF babies look different?

The woman becomes pregnant once the embryo is implanted in her uterus, and after a certain amount of time, she gives birth to her child. IVF children are just like any other children. In fact, it is impossible to tell an IVF baby apart from other kids unless you are told.

What is the cost of IVF treatment in Jananam?

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Are IVF babies always healthy?

Yes is the clear-cut response. With the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF), millions of healthy children have been born. There are no immediate or long-term risks to the child's health associated with the procedure. The method of conception is the main distinction between IVF babies and regular babies.

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