Ectopic Pregnancy: It’s causes, symptoms and treatment

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the fertilised ovum attaches itself outside the uterine cavity. Any area except for the endometrium can be the implantation sight for the fertilised egg. Normally, a fertilised egg travels to the uterus to attach itself but in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterus rather it may attach itself to several other locations outside the cavity of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy mostly occurs in the fallopian tube. However they can also occur in other places including the cervix, ovary or abdominal cavity.


Pelvic Inflammatory disease-

It’s an inflammation of the fallopian tube, ovaries and the uterine cavity and the associated areas. This infection happens because of sexually transmitted diseases such as Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia. Chlamydia is one the most common infections because it damages the pelvic anatomy.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices-

These devices prevent implantation inside the uterine cavity so indirectly it favours implantation outside the uterine cavity.

Oral Contraception-

Women on emergency contraceptives also have higher chances for ectopic pregnancy. Because high levels of progestin and estrogen often predisposes a woman towards ectopic pregnancy.

Hormonal Imbalances:

Endometriosis is a result of disturbed hormonal status in which the endometrial tissues grow outside the uterine cavity resulting in disturbance of tubal architecture that can favour ectopic pregnancy.


Ectopic pregnancy usually starts without symptoms. But eventually women can experience

  • Severe abdominal and pelvic pain
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Dizziness and weakness

There may be cases when the pregnancy ruptures the fallopian tubes and causes too much bleeding. There can be additional symptoms such as

  • Fainting
  • Falling in blood pressure
  • Pressure in the Rectal area
  • Pain in the shoulder

If the tube ruptures it is a severe medical emergency where you would be needed to rush into the hospital. In case you have an IUD placed and you are pregnant, it is best to contact the healthcare provider as these contraceptives lead to ectopic pregnancy.

What is the process of Ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

Until the 19th century, an ectopic pregnancy was considered a fatal accident, with no scope of treatment. As for India, the treatment for this disease came much later as compared to the rest of the world. As of today, India has the best maternity hospitals throughout the country and has all the advanced medical infrastructure to diagnose the problem of this condition. Within India, if you search for the best maternity hospital in Bangalore, Delhi, or any tier – 1 city for that matter, you will have a wide range of world-class facilities to choose from.

As for the treatment, first, the provider runs tests to check the pregnancy and later the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed with the help of an ultrasound exam. The ultrasound exam diagnoses the area where the fertilized egg has been implanted. If the egg has implanted anywhere other than the uterus the healthcare provider immediately terminates the pregnancy without any delay. An ectopic pregnancy cannot be continued as it is fatal for the fetus and also for the woman if the size of the fetus grows.

Treatment :

The doctors use blood tests and ultrasound to detect ectopic pregnancy.  Once confirmed ectopic pregnancy must be treated right away. The treatment of ectopic pregnancy depends upon the women whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic and whether the ectopic pregnancy has ruptured or not. There are two methods of treatments: one is with medication and another is surgery. Even with medication, an Ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening. One should not delay and talk to their gynocologist straight away. One of the best maternity hospitals treating ectopic pregnancy is in B’lore.

Aborting the pregnancy is the only choice in case of ectopic pregnancy. Any woman with a history of ectopic pregnancy is at a greater risk than another as compared to one who never had one. The reason behind this is that ectopic pregnancy mostly causes structural disturbance around the uterus.

There is a myth among people that ectopic pregnancy cannot happen in case of IVF. This is absolutely not true. During IVF the embryo is placed in your uterus and not implanted in your uterus. Similar to natural pregnancy the embryo has to implant on its own. And during this process the embryo may attach itself outside the uterine cavity. In any case ectopic pregnancy is a non-viable pregnancy and it needs to be terminated.

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