First things first, what is an Ectopic Pregnancy? – An Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in a location outside of the uterus, most commonly in one of the Fallopian tubes or the neck of the cervix. An Ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilised egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue might destroy various maternal structures.
There are no main reasons why some women end up having an Ectopic pregnancy. Once a woman is sexually active, or has reached the child bearing stage, she is already at risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. However, the chance of an ectopic pregnancy occurring is high if a woman has had any of the following:
- a previous Ectopic pregnancy,
- fertility problems or treatments,
- age factor
- abdominal surgery.
Ectopic is not hereditary neither is it caused by extreme exercises, miscarriages or abortions.
Signs of an ectopic pregnancy are very similar to all normal pregnancy symptoms, but a few stand out such as:
- Vaginal Bleeding
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is fairly normal. It differs a bit from the normal menstruation bleeding, it sometimes starts and stops and can be dark brown to light brown. If this happens, one should seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Tummy Pain
You may experience tummy pain, low down on one side. It can develop suddenly or gradually, and may be persistent or come and go. Tummy pain is a symptom of a lot of other illnesses, it shouldn’t however be taken lightly if one is pregnant or suspects to be pregnant.
- Shoulder Tip Pain
Shoulder tip pain is an unusual pain felt where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. It’s not known exactly why it occurs, but it can be a sign of an Ectopic pregnancy causing some internal bleeding, so you should get medical advice right away if you experience it.
- Abnormal Bowel Movements
Diarrhea, pain when going for a pee or for a poo might occur if an Ectopic pregnancy is present. These are also signs of other illnesses such as Urinary Tract Infection, (UTI). If this happens while pregnant or you suspect to be pregnant, please contact medical help.
It is important to remember that an Ectopic pregnancy usually comes with the same symptoms of a normal pregnancy. However, the main life threatening and altering symptom is a sign of a rupture. This is when the pregnancy is large enough to split open the Fallopian tube. Signs of a rupture include a combination of:
- a sharp, sudden and intense pain in your tummy
- feeling very dizzy or fainting
- feeling sick
- looking very pale
It is also important to note that this can also be symptoms of other illnesses, if they occur when a pregnancy is present or when one thinks that she is pregnant. Please seek medical advice as soon as possible.