In other cases, ectopic pregnancy is usually treated with laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made in the abdomen, near or in the navel. Then your doctor uses a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light (laparoscope) to view the area. The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is reported most commonly as the number of ectopic pregnancies per 1000 conceptions. Since 1970, when the reported rate in the United States was 4.5 cases per 1000 pregnancies, the frequency of ectopic pregnancy has increased 6-fold, with ectopic pregnancies now accounting for approximately 1-2% of all pregnancies. Any woman with functioning ovaries can potentially have an ectopic pregnancy, which includes women from the age of menarche until menopause. Women older than 40 years were found to have an adjusted odds ratio of 2.9 for ectopic pregnancy.
At first, an ectopic pregnancy might not cause any signs or symptoms. In other cases, early signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy might be the same as those of any pregnancy-a missed period, breast tenderness and nausea. Light vaginal bleeding with abdominal or pelvic pain is often the first warning sign of an ectopic pregnancy. If blood leaks from the fallopian tube, it's also possible to feel shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement-depending on where the blood pools or which nerves are irritated. A fertilized egg can't develop normally outside the uterus. To prevent life-threatening complications, the ectopic tissue needs to be removed. If the ectopic pregnancy is detected early, an injection of the drug methotrexate is sometimes used to stop cell growth and dissolve existing cells. It's imperative that the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is certain before this treatment is undertaken. After the injection, your doctor will monitor your blood for the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). If the HCG level remains high, you might need another injection of methotrexate.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the main cavity of the uterus. Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in one of the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus (fallopian tubes). This type of ectopic pregnancy is known as a tubal pregnancy. In some cases, however, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the abdominal cavity, ovary or neck of the uterus (cervix). An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue might destroy various maternal structures. Left untreated, life-threatening blood loss is possible. Early treatment of an ectopic pregnancy can help preserve the chance for future healthy pregnancies.