A death of a fetus in a pregnant woman always badly affected the mother.
This is worse when the death of the fetus is in an area other than the uterus or the womb.
What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is a medical disorder where pregnancy occurs outside the uterus (womb).
By far the most frequent place for ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tubes.
It is life-threatening to the mother.
Pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg in a tube moves to attach to the wall of the uterus..
In the patient with an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg is unable to bind itself to the uterus.
It becomes attached to the abdominal cavity, fallopian tube, or cervix.
While a pregnancy test may show evidence of pregnancy of a woman, a fertilized egg can not properly grow anywhere other than the uterus.
Ectopic pregnancies happen in 2% of pregnancies.
An ectopic pregnancy that is not treated can be life threatening and poses a medical emergency.
Prompt treatment decreases the risk of complications from the ectopic pregnancy, increases the possibility for future healthy pregnancies, and decreases future complications.
What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?
In all normal pregnancies, the fertilized egg moves through the fallopian tube to the uterus (womb).
If the travel of the egg is obstructed or slowed through the tubes, it can result in an ectopic pregnancy.
Disorders that may cause this problem are:
1. Birth defect in the fallopian tubes
2. Scarring after a ruptured appendix
4. Having had a previous ectopic pregnancy
5. Scarring from past infections or surgery of the female organs
In some patients, the following disorders have been linked with an ectopic pregnancy:
1. Inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes from a previous medical disorder, infection, or surgery
2. Hormonal factors
3. Genetic abnormalities
4. Birth defects
5. Medical conditions that affect the shape and condition of the fallopian tubes and reproductive organs
Sometimes the cause is not known.
Hormones do play a part.
The most frequent location for an ectopic pregnancy is inside one of the two fallopian tubes.
97% of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tubes.
The majority of cases happen in the ampullary or isthmic parts of the Fallopian tubes.
About 2-3% happens as interstitial ectopic pregnancies (arising in the part of the tube which leads into the uterine cavity).
The other remaining sites are cervical, fimbrial, ovarian and peritoneal sites, and previous scars from caesarean section operations.
There are a few reported cases of viable pregnancy growing external to the uterus and tubes but, as a general rule, only an intrauterine pregnancy is viable.
An ectopic pregnancy may also occur together with intra-uterine pregnancy.
This co-existent type of pregnancies is known as heterotopic pregnancy.
It is a rare condition, occurring in 1 in 30,000 pregnancies.
In rare patients, ectopic pregnancies can happen in the ovary, cervix, or abdomen.
An ectopic pregnancy can occur even if the woman uses birth control.
Who Is at Risk for an Ectopic Pregnancy?
All sexually active women are at some danger for an ectopic pregnancy.
Some of the risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy are:
1. Age over 35
2. Getting pregnant while having an intrauterine device (IUD):
IUDs decrease the danger of ectopic pregnancy compared to using no contraception.
The risk of ectopic pregnancy with an IUD or intrauterine system (IUS) inside the uterus is around 1 in 1,000 over five years.
3. Having the tubes tied (tubal ligation): This tends to happen 2 or more years after the procedure
TABLE OF CONTENT
Chapter 1 Ectopic Pregnancy
Chapter 2 Causes
Chapter 3 Symptoms
Chapter 4 Diagnosis
Chapter 5 Treatment
Chapter 6 Prognosis
Chapter 7 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease