Women’s Wellness: Signs Of An Ectopic Pregnancy, Treatment And Future Fertility

From Mayo Clinic News Network
Mayo Clinic News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus. Ninety percent of the time, it attaches to the fallopian tube. However, in other instances, it can attach to the ovary, cesarean section scar, cervix or even the abdomen.

Mayo Clinic News Network

According to Dr. Tarek Khalife, a Mayo Clinic Health System OB-GYN physician, ectopic pregnancies are rare.

However, he says in the off chance an ectopic pregnancy is discovered, it’s a situation that must be taken seriously. Often, patients have questions and are looking for answers to understand this condition.

“Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus,” says Khalife. “Ninety percent of the time, it attaches to the fallopian tube. However, in other instances, it can attach to the ovary, cesarean section scar, cervix or even the abdomen. If attached to the abdomen, the danger of complications is significantly increased.”

It’s rare for an ectopic pregnancy to coexist with another normal intrauterine pregnancy; yet, it’s still possible and poses critical challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Luckily, it’s an uncommon event, except in patients receiving fertility treatments, where the prevalence is a ratio of 1 in 100, as compared to 1 in 30,000 in spontaneous pregnancies.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Ectopic pregnancies don’t have specific symptoms and can be easily missed if the health care provider fails to keep it in mind. Ectopic pregnancy-related symptoms vary between showing no symptoms at all, especially during the early stages, to severe lower abdominal pain with dizziness caused by massive internal bleeding.

Presentation and symptoms also vary depending on the location of the ectopic implantation. Khalife says commonly reported symptoms of ectopic pregnancies include vaginal spotting and vague lower-abdominal or pelvic pain.

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