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Ectopic Pregnancy Image

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

As the name suggests, ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that is not topic, ie, not inside the uterus. The fertilized egg rather develops inside or on the different reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or other organs such as in the abdomen or on the cervix.

Unlike normal pregnancies, the fertilized egg hence lacks two things-
The space to grow ( example- fallopian tubes)
The nutritive supply (example- cervix/ ovaries/ abdomen)

For the same reasons, the fetus dies before 12 weeks, and its dislodge, or the tubes’ rupture can cause extensive bleeding, leading to acute pain, vaginal bleeding, lightheadedness, nausea, or death.

ectopic pregnancy causes

Why Does it Happen?

While the exact cause for ectopic pregnancy remains uncertain, there are a few risk factors. These include:

  • Salpingitis (infection of the fallopian tube)
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Prior fallopian tube surgery
  • Endometriosis
  • Fertility treatments such as IVF/ ICSI
  • Extensive smoking

Types of Ectopic Pregnancy

Fallopian Ectopic Pregnancy

Fallopian Ectopic

Ovarian Ectopic Pregnancy

Ovarian Ectopic

Abdominal Ectopic Pregnancy

Abdominal Ectopic

Cervical Ectopic Pregnancy

Cervical Ectopic

Causes

Symptoms

  • Missed Period
  • Soreness of breast
  • Nausea

Symptoms

  • Transvaginal ultrasound (in the early 6 weeks of pregnancy)
  • Abdominal ultrasound (later than 6 weeks of pregnancy)

 

Procedure: Both transvaginal and abdominal ultrasounds are simple, 7-10 minutes imaging tests, that is,  the tests that provide an internal image of the body organ using high-frequency sound waves. 

 

However, as the name suggests, transvaginal ultrasound is done by inserting the sound wave device through the transvaginal cavity, whereas the abdominal ultrasound is done through the abdominal surface. Since the sound wave device is closer in transvaginal ultrasound, it can help pick up the type of pregnancy earlier and is more accurate than through the results of an abdominal ultrasound. 

 

Confirmation: The location of the fetus confirms the type of pregnancy. 

  • In uterus: Normal pregnancy 
  • In fallopian tubes: Tubal ectopic pregnancy
  • On the ovaries: Ovarian ectopic pregnancy
  • On the peritoneum: Abdominal ectopic pregnancy
  • At the cervix: Cervical ectopic pregnancy
Transvaginal Ultrasound

Risks & Complications

Removing the ectopic pregnancy surgically is one of the safest and most successful methods. The risks are mostly mild and can be reduced even more through the laparoscopic method. 

 

However, some of the rare complications that you should know about include-

 

  • General anesthetic complications
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clotting
  • Damage to the surrounding organs, such as the bladder, ovaries, ureter, or rectum (rare)

  • Effect-on-future-pregnancy-after-ectopic-pregnancy

    Effect on Future Pregnancy

    Effect-on-future-pregnancy-after-ectopic-pregnancy

    Fallopian ectopic pregnancy is common to repeat in patients who have had a fallopian ectopic pregnancy before. The risk is as high as 40%. 

     

    Therefore, doctors often suggest you rather remove the entire fallopian tube along with the fetus. The ovulation cycle can continue just the same as the other fallopian tube. However, the procedure would increase the chances of a normal pregnancy the second time. 

     

    Nevertheless, you are advised to stay alert for signs and symptoms of the next pregnancy and take an ultrasound exam within 6-8 weeks of the missed period to avoid any rupture or emergency situation because of yet another case of ectopic pregnancy. 

     

  • Myths and Facts about Ectopic Pregnancy

    Myths and Facts about Ectopic Pregnancy

    Myths and Facts about Ectopic Pregnancy
    • An ectopic pregnancy always requires emergency surgery.
    • No. Ectopic pregnancy requires emergency surgery only in the later weeks of pregnancy where the fetus has dislodged or the placenta has ruptured. If detected earlier, the patient does get time to consider and plan either of both- medical and surgical treatment. 

     

    • Women with ectopic pregnancies cannot conceive naturally. 
    • False. While normal pregnancy is slightly difficult with a problematic fallopian tube, the chances of success are as high as 60%. This can be increased even more by taking supporting treatments. 

     

  • Prevention of Ectopic Pregnancy

    Prevention of Ectopic Pregnancy

    Prevention of Ectopic Pregnancy

    The most common reason for the damage to the fallopian tube is infections.  These usually advance through the vaginal opening. Therefore, as prevention, make sure you keep the highest standards of regular, menstrual, and sexual hygiene. For example- 

    • Clean the vaginal area with only plain water. Do not use any chemicals, soap or astringents. 
    • Use only clean fingers to wash the vaginal opening. Be especially careful as you clean after you defecate. 
    • Practice safe sex. Either use condoms or make sure your partner is regularly tested for STIs. 
    • Regularly change your menstrual pad, tampon, or cup. Do not choose a tampon or cup unless you have access to a clean bathroom and frequent changes. 

     

    • Another reason is excessive smoking. It irreversibly damages the cilia and makes the ovum’s movement from the tube to the uterus difficult. Therefore, quit or limit your intake the soonest as possible. 

When To Consult a Doctor

Consult your gynecologist as soon as you experience :

  • The first sign of pregnancy (missed period)
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding 
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Nausea/ lightheadedness
  • Sudden and acute pain in the abdomen

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

What is the location of my ectopic pregnancy?
What are my treatment options?
How successful is medical management of ectopic pregnancy?
What is better for removing ectopic pregnancy- medicines or surgery?
How can I prevent ectopic pregnancy in the future?
What are my chances of healthy conception through natural methods?
What are my other fertility options?
What are the different modes of payment accepted?
Which insurances do you accept?

Treatment options & cost

While termination of ectopic pregnancy is possible through medicines, it is not commonly preferred because of the longer treatment method, continuous need of monitoring, and repeated follow-ups. The medical management also runs the elevated risks of repeat ectopic pregnancy. 

 

However, if the ectopic pregnancy is detected earlier in the cycle, and the patient favors medical management, the following may be employed:

 

Medicine: Methotrexate

 

Procedure: Methotrexate is given directly by an injection in one dose. hCG levels are monitored before and after the procedure. If the levels do not decrease after the first dose, a second dose may be needed. Confirmation of termination is taken through ultrasound. 

 

Side effects: Some of the side effects include- 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

 

Cost: The medical management of ectopic pregnancy typically costs between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000 in India.

 

Insurance Coverage for ectopic pregnancy

Insurance coverage

Yes, insurance covers the surgical treatment cost for ectopic pregnancy as it falls under the ‘medically necessary’ list of treatments. However, the specifics may vary from policy to policy. Please confirm the same from your healthcare or insurance provider. 

Insurance Coverage for ectopic pregnancy

Recovery Rate

Be it medical or surgical treatment for ectopic pregnancy, it may take several weeks for you to recover completely. Through this time you may feel mild but constant abdominal pain or discomfort. It may take some time for your body to adapt to the changes and the period cycle to return to normal.

Video testimonial - by patient

Video on the disease and treatment - by Pristyn Care doctor

Latest Research

  • Latest Research on Ectopic Pregnancy

    JFMPC study on ectopic pregnancy- risk factors and treatment:

  • Latest Research on Ectopic Pregnancy

    PMC case-control study for ectopic pregnancy (published on NIH):

  • Latest Research on Ectopic Pregnancy

    BCMJ article on diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy:

  • Latest Research on Ectopic Pregnancy

    Frontiers on predicting ectopic pregnancy:

  • Latest Research on Ectopic Pregnancy

    A 10-year population-based study on sites of ectopic pregnancy (published in Human Reproduction, Volume 17, Issue 12, December 2002 by oxford academic journal.

FAQ

How common is an ectopic pregnancy?

The National Health Service, UK reports one in every 90 pregnancies is ectopic. Thus, resulting in more than 11,000 ectopic pregnancies a year.

Can ectopic pregnancy happen twice?

Yes. There is a 40% chance of repeat ectopic pregnancy in patients who have had it before.

What is the most common type of ectopic pregnancy?

Data reports more than 95% of ectopic pregnancies to happen in the fallopian tube.

Can the baby be saved in ectopic pregnancy?

No. The fetus cannot be saved in ectopic pregnancy because of the inadequate space to grow and lack of nutritive support.

Can women die because of ectopic pregnancy?

Yes, if the ectopic pregnancy is not removed in time, the woman may bleed to death.

Which type of doctor removes ectopic pregnancy?

A gynecologist with expertise in minimal access surgery, that is, laparoscopy is the most ideal to remove ectopic pregnancies. A substantial experience of handling prior cases of ectopic pregnancies is even better.

What is favored more- medical or surgical removal of ectopic pregnancy?

Surgical removal of ectopic pregnancy is the most favored method of pregnancy termination because of its immediate and confirmed results.

Is removal of ectopic pregnancy an emergency treatment?

Yes. If the surgery is performed in the latter weeks of pregnancy, that is, after or nearing the fetal dislodge, or organ rupture, it falls under the ‘emergency’ bracket of surgeries.

What are the chances of a healthy pregnancy after ectopic pregnancy?

Your chances of a healthy conception despite an earlier ectopic pregnancy are roughly 60%

How long should I wait before trying to become pregnant again?

Doctors suggest you wait until at least 3-6 months before trying to conceive again after an episode of ectopic pregnancy.

Why choose Pristyn Care for ectopic pregnancy treatment?

Pristyn Care brings the most advanced and holistic gyne treatments with its experienced doctors and latest laparoscopic and laser technology in 15+ cities in India. We are associated with multiple reputed gyne-clinics and super-specialty hospitals, giving you the option to choose amongst the best hospitals that suit your needs, be it the hospital distance, its infrastructure, or insurance panel. 

As you choose Pristyn Care for your treatments, you get some of the added benefits.  These include:

  • Free online/ in-clinic consultations: We offer free consultations. Also, you have the choice to speak with the doctor in-clinic or offline, sitting from the comfort of your home. You can ask as many questions, and we ensure we give you the right and detailed answers. 
  • Free transportation to and from the hospital: We provide free cab pick up and drop off from and to your residence on the day of surgery.
  • Minimal-no waiting time for hospital admission: We perform most of our admission formalities beforehand, so you do not have to wait for hospital admission at the site. 
  • All paperwork done on your behalf: We do all your hospital admission and discharge paperwork ourselves on your behalf to reduce your hassles and provide a seamless patient experience. 
  • Multiple payment options: We accepts all modes of payment including cash, credit, and debit card. 
  • All insurances accepted: We accept all insurances and offer cash-less facilities at most of the hospitals. 
  • No cost EMI option: You can also opt for the No cost EMI option while paying for your medical bills. 
  • Free follow-up: We provide free follow-up post consultations to ensure a complete and smooth recovery. 

How to book an appointment with a Pristyn Care Gynecologist for ectopic pregnancy?

Booking an appointment with a Pristyn Care gynecologist is easy. 

Simply call us directly or fill out our ‘Book my Appointment’ form.  It would ask you just four basic questions such as ‘Your name’, ‘Contact’, ‘Disease name’, and ‘City’. Just fill them and click ‘submit’. Our medical coordinators will call you shortly and help you speak to a doctor of your choice. 

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