Understanding a Tubal Pregnancy

During the early stages of a normal pregnancy, the woman’s released ovum travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. During this process fertilization may occur if there is the presence of male sperm. A normal pregnancy process allows for the fertilized egg to attach itself to the uterine wall.

However, in some instances the fertilized egg adheres itself to other parts of the female reproductive system or the woman’s abdomen. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic literally means “out of place”.

The type of pregnancy where the fertilized egg adheres to the inner lining of the fallopian tube is called a tubal pregnancy. This is the most common of ectopic pregnancies. Obviously, this kind of pregnancy is not normal and if the fetus is allowed to continue its growth, outside the uterus, the woman’s health will be endangered. Unfortunately, a tubal pregnancy seldom results in the birth of a baby.

Symptoms of a Tubal Pregnancy

Many of the signs and symptoms of a tubal pregnancy cannot be distinguished from a normal pregnancy. That is because the missed periods, nausea, tenderness of the breasts and frequent urination are the same early symptoms of a normal pregnancy.

However, a vital indicator of a tubal pregnancy is the occurrence of pain. This pain may be felt in the abdominal or pelvic region or possibly felt in the shoulder or neck. Women who have experienced this pain describe the pain in terms of sharp and stabbing. Other indicators of a tubal pregnancy may be indicated through vaginal bleeding, dizziness, low blood pressure, and pain in the small of the back.

Treatment of a Tubal Pregnancy

Treatment of ectopic pregnancy varies in accordance to a number of factors. These factors include the size, where the egg is located, and whether future pregnancies are desired.

Because of the danger to the mother, the pregnancy needs to be terminated. Therefore, one option, in the early stages of pregnancy, is through the use of an injected drug. This non-surgical technique minimizes the danger to the woman’s reproductive system and frees the woman’s body of the fertilized egg.

The other option available to terminate the ectopic pregnancy is through surgery. This procedure is generally required if the pregnancy is more advanced. In the case of a tubal pregnancy, the removal of the fertilized egg was once a major surgical procedure. Now, because of surgical advances, a small incision can be made that will allow a laparoscope to be utilized.

Future Pregnancy

A woman who has experienced a tubal pregnancy should concern herself with future pregnancies. Statistics reveal that 30% of women who have had an ectopic pregnancy will have difficulty in getting pregnant in the future. This percentage is based on the extent of damage occurred that resulted from a tubal pregnancy.

Another factor that may prevent future pregnancies would be any unavoidable surgical damage or loss of a fallopian tube. It is also important to note that each tubal pregnancy experienced adds to the reality of repeated tubal pregnancies occurring. Thus, it is very important for women to get checked early on in their pregnancy for complications of this nature.