An ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition
In a routine pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining. However, during an ectopic pregnancy, the egg attaches itself somewhere else, usually in one of the fallopian tubes; this is known as a tubal pregnancy. Less commonly, the fertilized egg may attach in the ovary, cervix or abdominal cavity. This is a serious condition that can place the mother’s future fertility or even her life in danger. An ectopic pregnancy cannot proceed to a live birth, and the mother must receive medical treatment. If you are looking for a Southlake obgyn, we are right here in Grapevine and Alliance with expert care.
Ectopic pregnancy requires medical treatment
The earlier our Alliance and Grapevine obgyns can diagnose and treat an ectopic pregnancy, the better. If the condition is diagnosed early, chances for retaining the mother’s fertility improve. As the pregnancy progresses, the risk for serious problems, such as a ruptured fallopian tube, increases. This can lead to life-threatening hemorrhaging and/or infection.
Which factors increase the risk for an ectopic pregnancy?
Certain women are at increased risk for an ectopic pregnancy.
- She is age 30 or older.
- She has experienced a previous ectopic pregnancy.
- She has a personal history of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
- She had a previous abdominal, pelvic or fallopian tube surgery.
There are two risk factors that women may be able to reduce.
- Quit smoking as soon as possible, especially before you conceive.
- Practice safe sex and limit your sexual partners to help reduce your risk of contracting pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may feel fine early in the pregnancy. Later, you will experience symptoms that you need to report as soon as possible to our Alliance or Grapevine obgyns.
- Light, moderate or heavy vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the abdomen or pelvic pain, which may only occur on one side
- Pain in the shoulder
- Feeling dizzy, weak or fainting
Diagnosis and treatment
When you call to tell us you have symptoms that may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, we will either recommend that we see you in our office or recommend emergency treatment. In the Alliance or Grapevine obgyn office, we normally check your blood pressure and perform a pelvic examination. We may also order an ultrasound examination and blood work to confirm our diagnosis.
If the ectopic pregnancy is caught early, we can often treat it with a medication called methotrexate. This injected medication stops cell growth, thus ending the pregnancy and allowing the body to absorb the tissue.
Some ectopic pregnancies require surgical treatment. If the fallopian tubes rupture, emergency surgery is necessary. If the fertilized egg has implanted in another area of the body, or if the fallopian tube has not ruptured, our Alliance and Grapevine obgyns can perform laparoscopic surgery to remove the ectopic tissue.
Women hoping to find a Southlake obgyn often find our Alliance and Grapevine obgyns in the search process. We are highly experienced and trained physicians and surgeons who help women cope with an ectopic pregnancy. Contact us for compassionate, expert care.