Many women have undergone the trauma of suffering through a fallopian tube pregnancy. This type of pregnancy can result in permanent internal damage as well as death if left untreated.
A fallopian tube pregnancy is a form of ectopic pregnancy, wherein the egg implants itself beyond the uterus cavity. This form of implantation is medically considered extremely dangerous as well as life-threatening for women. Medical science claims that only 1% of women suffer from this complication.
One of the primary signs of ectopic pregnancy is bleeding, which occurs because the embryo begins to grow within the linings of the fallopian tube and thereby constricts the vessels. This internal bleeding in turn displaces the implantation and leads to tubal miscarriages. These miscarriages often come as a blessing because prevents surgical intervention. However, sometimes the bleeding may become excessive if the implantation is allowed to remain within the tube for longer periods.
Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy
The reasons for the occurrence of this phenomenon are not exact, though it is widely believed that damage caused to the cilia situated in the inner surface of the fallopian tube may be the main cause. This is because the cilia transports the fertilized egg to the uterus. Another plausible explanation could be congenital abnormalities that inhibit the proper functioning of the fallopian tube. Hormone imbalance and previous fallopian tube surgeries may also be responsible. Doctors believe that such a pregnancy may also occur because of the damage caused by IVF treatments.
In rare cases, women suffering from fallopian tube blockages or pelvis/uterus infection may become vulnerable to ectopic pregnancies. Sexually transmissible diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are also believed to cause permanent damage within the reproductive system. Women who have been diagnosed with uterine fibroid must get their fallopian tubes checked. Sometimes, the tubes may develop cysts or endometritis that can affects the entire uterus if left untreated.
Signs of Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy can be clinically diagnosed by the 5-8th week from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. It is important to not count from the last day of the menstrual cycle as it can lead to miscalculation in figuring out the exact day of implantation. The symptoms of such a pregnancy are usually very ambiguous and difficult to self-evaluate. However, here are some early symptoms to keep a look out for:
- Experiencing pain during urination and bowel movements.
- Spotting or mild bleeding.
- Pain in the abdomen similar to stomach cramps.
Another method of testing, is to get a ‘Quantitative hCG Test, wherein, low-levels or slow rise of hCG is used for detecting any abnormalities during the early stages of pregnancy. The other method is to get an ultrasound done, though the embryo would be too small to be detected. However, a gestation sack will be visible in the fallopian tube in case of an ectopic pregnancy. It is important to remember is that ectopic embryos have zero chances of survival.
Since 1993, methotrexate has been used for treating ectopic pregnancies. Once the medicine stops the growth of the embryo, it either gets naturally aborted or is removed from the system during the next menstrual cycle. Sometimes laparoscopic surgery or laparotomy may be required to remove the embryo.
A fallopian pregnancy can happen to any women, which is why the best way to safeguard yourself is to go for regular health checkups.