Anomalies During Pregnancy - Ectopic Pregnancy

During pregnancy, certain variations can occur in the woman’s body that would make that pregnancy different from normal pregnancies. One such incidence is an ectopic pregnancy. Under normal conditions, the egg gets fertilized in the fallopian tube of the female reproductive organs. This fertilized egg moves into the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine wall. In ectopic pregnancies, the fertilized ovum or egg gets attached to the fallopian tube wall. Thus, the fertilized egg gets implanted and developed outside of the uterus.

During this kind of pregnancy, the fallopian tube has undergone or is someway restricting the movement of the ovum. This can be due to some chronic inflammatory disease that had affected the tube previously. Sometimes, the tubes have developmental defects because of which locomotion of ovum is not brought about.

These defects could have distorted the tubes to such an extent that the normal function was affected. Tubal spasms that occur periodically could also bring about a delay in the movement of ovum which then attaches to the tubal wall. Iatrogenic fallopian tubes have a high incidence of tubal pregnancies.

Ectopic or tubal pregnancies once detected are terminated by MTP (medical termination of pregnancy). If allowed to continue or if it escapes detection, things can get very serious. The fallopian tubes can rupture, leading to internal bleeding and sometimes even death of the mother. There have been cases where the ovum undergoes development to form a tubal mole which has to be removed. Tubal abortion can also be conducted through the fimbrial end through which the mole or developed ovum is removed.

The most common symptoms of carrying an ectopic pregnancy is failure in getting menstrual periods (amenorrhea) for short durations, very severe and unbearable abdominal pain with vaginal bleeding, vomiting, nausea and dizziness. Ectopic pregnancy information should be provided to all women so that they are able to detect any difference in their body and at least meet a health provider or midwife. Moreover, women who are trying to conceive and those not using contraception must be made aware of such a possibility.

Patients experience excruciating pain upon internal examination and their abdomen is painful to touch. The clinical examination of these women shows them to be pale and weak. Symptoms of shock are also present. Ectopic pregnancy can be acute or recent and chronic or old.

During pregnancy of an acute nature, there is either tubal rupture or tubal abortion leading to severe internal bleeding. On the other hand, chronic ectopic pregnancies are difficult to detect. The onset of discomfort is very slow. Abdominal pain, though severe initially, vanishes after some time and the patient is left with a dull aching pain. Amenorrhea is for a very short duration and there is very less vaginal bleeding. Some of the women also have symptoms of fever, frequent urination etc.

An ultra sound sonography can confirm the diagnosis. That should be followed up with immediate resuscitation and surgery. Laparoscopies are also performed in urban areas. In some very severe cases, blood transfusion might be required. During pregnancy, it is necessary to ensure that everything is normal.