Complications and risk factors from Ectopic pregnancy

Complications and risk factors from Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy; rare yet deadly if not taken care of in time.

Kshiti Biswas
Kshiti Biswas
November 22, 2022
Female Infertility
03 mins

Implantation, if it happens in the fallopian tube, it can be life threatening. Read this blog to know what an Ectopic pregnancy is.

Fertilization occurs in the fallopian tube, the embryo travels down into the uterus to be implanted, where it grows further to form a baby. If the implantation happens in fallopian tube instead (or anywhere outside the uterus), that is Ectopic pregnancy. 

Ectopic pregnancy can happen to any sexually active woman of reproductive age; it occurs in roughly 0.25-2.0% of all pregnancies worldwide. In a research conducted at a tertiary care centre in South India, 0.91% of pregnant women were observed to have ectopic pregnancies (with no maternal deaths).

An ectopic pregnancy can be a very serious issue and may need urgent medical attention. 

That said, are there any symptoms that can indicate the presence of ectopic pregnancy? Generally ectopic pregnancy does not cause any symptoms, they show up between 6th and 14th week of pregnancy. Some of them are-

  • General pregnancy symptoms such as missed periods
  • Pain on the abdomen in one side
  • Brown watery discharge from the vagina
  • Shoulder pain
  • Discomfort in bowel movements

However, report to your physician immediately if you have any of these symptoms-

  • Sharp and intense pain on your abdomen
  • Dizziness or feel like fainting
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Sick feels
  • Looking pale

Experiencing these symptoms might be an indication of ruptured fallopian tube and internal bleeding, urgent surgery might be required.

Unfortunately, in ectopic pregnancies, the embryo is stuck in the fallopian tube, it cannot develop into a baby. This also puts the mother’s health into risk if the pregnancy is continued, which should not be encouraged. Therefore the pregnancy should be terminated using medications or a surgery, for the sake of the mother’s safety. 

The cause of a woman's ectopic pregnancy is generally unclear. It occasionally occurs when there is an issue with the fallopian tubes, such as when they are blocked or thin. However, the chance of an ectopic pregnancy is increased by the following factors:

  • previous ectopic pregnancy: the chance of experiencing a subsequent ectopic pregnancy is about 10%
  • inflammation caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is typically brought on by a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Previous fallopian tube surgery, such as an unsuccessful female sterilisation procedure, fertility treatment, such as IVF, using medicine to trigger ovulation (the release of an egg), and 
  • getting pregnant while using an intrauterine device and 
  • smoking

can all raise the chances of ectopic pregnancy.

It can be painful to lose a pregnancy, and many women experience the same level of grief as if they had lost a spouse or family member. These emotions can linger for several months, and they get better with time. Ensure that you give both your partner and yourself time to grieve. You might benefit from expert support or counselling if you or your partner are having trouble accepting your loss. 

Wait until three months befor trying again, to heal physically and emotionally from the loss. Next time is the time when you win against pregnancy loss. 


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