An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilization of the egg occurs outside the main uterus. The fertilization can occur in the fallopian tubes, wherein it is also known as a tubal pregnancy. In the normal course of pregnancy, the fertilization occurs in the uterus and the fertilized embryo attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. In some cases, ectopic pregnancies can occur in the ovaries or cervix as well.
An ectopic pregnancy cannot survive and left undetected and untreated can cause internal bleeding, posing a major health risk to the health of the mother. Signs of an ectopic pregnancy are similar to a normal one. Missed periods, soreness of breasts, a positive blood test etc., but it can be identified with increased abdominal pain, pelvic discomfort and heavy bleeding.
Risk Factors of Ectopic Pregnancy
- Infections of the uterus
- Inflammation of the uterus
- Undergoing fertility treatment
- Tubal surgeries of the past
Preventing Ectopic Pregnancy
- Limited sexual partners
- Practice safe sex
- Avoid smoking, especially if you are trying to get pregnant
Light vaginal bleeding is one of the earliest signs of an ectopic pregnancy, as the blood leaks from the fallopian tubes may increase abdominal pain, urge to have a bowel movement and pelvic discomfort. An ectopic pregnancy can cause your fallopian tube to burst open. Without treatment, the ruptured tube can lead to life-threatening bleeding.