An ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous situation that can occur in some woman. Normal pregnancy happens inside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when an egg that is fertilized gets implanted outside the uterus. In most ectopic pregnancies, the fertilized egg is attached to the Fallopian tube. Because of this reason, an ectopic pregnancy is also known as tubal pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy was not very common in the olden days. Over the last 30 years or so, ectopic pregnancies have become more common. It occurs in 2 out of 100 pregnancies. Researchers have confirmed that the occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy can be due to sexually transmitted diseases that cause damage to the Fallopian tube and also due to various infertility treatments.
The early days of an ectopic pregnancy look like a normal pregnancy. All the normal symptoms related to pregnancy will be visible in the pregnant woman. It is only after some time that the real symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy start showing up. The main symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are:
- abdominal pain that can become severe, especially on one side
- vaginal bleeding
- cramps and shoulder pain
- vomiting and dizziness
An ectopic pregnancy can become really dangerous and can cause even death. If you are having severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding, then you need to get in touch with your doctor as early as possible. The main danger of an ectopic pregnancy is that you cannot move the fertilized egg back into the uterus. The only option remaining is to remove it completely. Here are the 15 dangers of an ectopic pregnancy of which you may not be aware.
15 HCG Level
After the an ectopic pregnancy, your HCG level has to be checked regularly. The HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) level has to reach zero if your Fallopian tube is not completely removed after the ectopic pregnancy. You can measure the HCG level by doing blood tests. In a pregnant woman, HCG levels double every 72 hours.
With some women, it may take a few weeks for HCG levels to come down. If your HCG level does not reach zero, then it means that the ectopic tissue was not removed completely from your body. For complete removal, you may be required to undergo a surgical procedure or need to undergo medical treatment using methotrexate.
In some special cases, the doctor may advise the patient to take methotrexate even after undergoing surgery. Most of the time, the doctor will prefer to wait for some time and perform regular blood check to see if HCG levels are coming down. The problem with this wait method is that it may allow the ectopic cells to divide and to remove them completely you may have to undergo a surgery.
14 Chances of Future Pregnancy
Every woman after an ectopic surgery will be frightened and worried. It takes time for them to recover both physically and emotionally. The chances of getting pregnant successfully again after an ectopic pregnancy is less in most women because of the damages caused by the ectopic surgery. The chances depend on the reasons for your ectopic pregnancy and your medical history.
In women whose Fallopian tubes have been left in place, even after a previous ectopic pregnancy, the chances of having a successful pregnancy in the future is 60 percent. The chance of a successful future pregnancy largely depends on the condition of your tube. It is always recommended to wait for some time before getting pregnant.
Some doctors ask the patient to wait for 18 to 24 months before conceiving again. You should consult your doctor regularly and take the right precautions and care to ensure a safe and successful pregnancy.
13 Painful and Scary
An ectopic pregnancy is painful and scary. Many women find it very difficult to move forward after an ectopic pregnancy. It can create fear in the mind of women. This fear can create anxiety which can have a negative impact on your next pregnancy. These feelings are increased by the trauma caused by the loss of your pregnancy and the distressing experience you went through. Many women undergo emotional and physical pain after an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy can cause severe damages to the tissues which may prevent you from getting pregnant again. All these fears can break a woman’s heart. Therefore, it is always better to overcome the mental and physical trauma caused by an ectopic pregnancy. There is no time limit for recovery. There is no word called “should” when it comes to recovery after an ectopic pregnancy.
Most of the time doctors prescribe counseling as the best option to recover from an ectopic pregnancy and get over the mental trauma it created in the mind of the patient.
The main danger of an ectopic pregnancy is that it can cause hemorrhage, which can result in death. The pregnant woman can suffer from Fallopian tube damage or uterine rupture due to the failure in providing the correct diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. There are many cases reported where women suffered sudden death due to rupture caused by an ectopic pregnancy. Heavy bleeding, if not treated carefully, can cause death.
It is always better to consult a doctor as early as possible, before the woman’s condition deteriorates. Infection, bleeding, and other problems in the organs, such as the bladder, the uterus, and the bowel, may occur. An experienced doctor will be able to identify the complications early and provide a clear solution. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a doctor and take the necessary steps to avoid complications which can result in death.
The chance of developing abdominal adhesions is high in patients after an ectopic pregnancy. An adhesion refers to a scar tissue that fastens two bits of your tissues together. Normally, it should remain as separate parts. The tissue forms when the repair mechanisms of the body respond to the ectopic surgery.
An adhesion can begin a few days after the surgery, but it does not show any symptoms for months. In some people, it can result in severe pelvic pain or hinder the movement of the intestines.
More than 93 percent people undergo various abdominal surgeries during their lifetime. In most cases, abdominal adhesions will not cause any complications and will go after a few months. But, in some women, it can cause pain, especially when they get pregnant again, and then the fear of another ectopic pregnancy can come into their mind.
It is always better to consult your doctor when you feel persisting pain.
10 Dissolvable Stitches Refuse to Dissolve
After an ectopic pregnancy, or after any other abdominal surgery for that matter, you will have stitches. Dissolvable stitches normally dissolve on their own within 10 to 21 days after the operation. In some women, this does not happen. You may not notice it in the first place, but when you do, you should get medical help.
You should not try to pull out the stitches yourself. That can result in complications and result in an infection in the wound. Instead, you can firmly wipe over the stuck stitches using a clean moist towel, once each in all the four directions: north, south, east and then west. But do this just once.
The chance of having stitches in your stomach is less, but if your surgery was complicated, then it can have stitches inside your stomach. But, you don’t have to worry about those stitches as they will automatically dissolve.
9 Pain During Too Much Physical Activity
After surgery, it is common for women to have pain in the abdominal areas. Even if you may feel better after a few days of rest, you should not indulge in heavy physical activities and exercises. You should completely avoid doing stretching and other activities that can cause pain in your abdominal area. Lifting heavy items should be avoided completely for three months or so.
Most of the time, doctors advise patients not to climb stairs or walk long distances without rest. Any stressful work can cause severe pain. Therefore, it should be avoided completely for 3-6 months after an ectopic pregnancy. Some women may also have pain during ovulation and during menstruation.
If you continue to feel pain 6 months after an ectopic pregnancy, you need to consult your doctor. In some women, the pain can be a form of fear, that requires counseling and help to overcome it.
8 Constipation Problems
An ectopic pregnancy can interfere with the proper functioning of your intestines. This can lead to constipation problems. Constipation is a problem where you are unable to pass feces or find it very difficult and painful to pass feces due to the lack of sufficient fluids in your body. It is common to have constipation problem after surgery. Consulting your doctor for advice is the first step you need to take if you face severe constipation problem after an ectopic pregnancy.
Including more fiber and large amounts of fruits and vegetables in your diet will help to improve the constipation problems. You should also drink a lot of water, juices, and avoid heavy food after 6 p.m. Drinking fluids will also help you to recover from the constipation problem. Check with your doctor before using laxatives.
You should remember to seek medical advice when you face constipation even after trying the normal home remedies. Prolonged constipation problem can damage the intestine segments.
It is natural for you to feel tired after your ectopic pregnancy surgery. Your body will need time to recover from the surgery. The immune system will be working hard to heal the wounds caused by the surgery and to keep you free from infections. Most women find it difficult to do even the simple things that they used to do before the ectopic pregnancy.
A woman treated with Methotrexate feels more tired as some of the essential vitamins from her body is lost. The amount of blood loss is also a factor that will decide how much time you will need to recover. It is better to have small, healthy meals at regular intervals. You should also include a lot of fruits and nuts in your diet to feel energized.
It is necessary to take complete rest, as it will help you to overcome the tiredness and recover fast.
Bleeding is another dangerous after effect of an ectopic pregnancy surgery. You should not consider it as your first periods after an ectopic pregnancy. It is the body expelling the thick lining of your uterus as you aren’t pregnant anymore. Once the pregnancy hormones decrease, the chemical signals for keeping the thick uterine lining stops being produced and so the uterus lining is expelled.
The length or duration of bleeding time differs from one woman to another. It can last for one to two weeks and the color of the discharge will change from red to brown depending upon the intensity. In some women, the bleeding may last for 6 weeks after the ectopic pregnancy surgery.
If the pain is severe and the discharge is heavy, then you need to get the help of your doctor. If you have been treated with Methotrexate, you are likely to have more severe bleeding when compared to others.
5 Discomfort and Sore Breasts
One of the common problems women suffer after an ectopic pregnancy is discomfort and pain in the breast. Your breasts will be sore for a few weeks. It is normal to have sore breasts as your body needs time to adjust to the fact that you are not pregnant anymore. The breasts may get sore again during your first periods after an ectopic pregnancy.
Some women also suffer from bloating. If bloating continues for a few weeks, then it may be due to some infection and it is better to consult a doctor for help. There are many women who have complained that they feel pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy surgery. It is mainly due to the fact that HCG levels will take time to drop.
When the HCG levels drop, the feeling will go away. The discomfort and pain will last for a few months. For some women, it may last a little longer, but once you have recovered, you will be able to do your normal work.
4 Avoid Pregnancy for 3-4 Months
Many doctors advise women to take contraceptive pills for 3-4 months after an ectopic surgery to avoid getting pregnant again. A period of 3-4 months will help to heal the injuries and damages caused by the ectopic pregnancy. For women who have consumed Methotrexate, it’s essential to wait for a few months before trying to conceive again.
The methotrexate reduces the folate level in your body. It is essential for the growth of the baby. The shortage in folate level can cause the baby to have serious birth defects.
Studies have proven that women who conceive quickly after an ectopic pregnancy have higher chances of having another ectopic pregnancy. Women who have faced a series of ectopic pregnancy issues are advised to use preventive methods to prevent getting pregnant again.
You should consult your gynecologist and choose the best preventive method to avoid further complications.
3 Chlamydia and Ectopic Pregnancy
Any surgery/disease that causes damage to the Fallopian tube can result in an ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia will cause the infection of the tubes. If you feel there is a chance, then it is always better to take a test for Chlamydia after an ectopic pregnancy.
Chlamydia is common in people who have multiple sex partners. Chlamydia is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse where one partner is already infected by it.
Treatment for Chlamydia will not help to correct the damage already done but can help in preventing further damages. Even though Chlamydia does not cause fertility issues in most women, your body can react differently. Moreover, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is more in women with repeated infection of Chlamydia or if you do not take proper treatment.
Many a time, you may not be aware that you are infected by Chlamydia. It is always better for the partners to do a regular checkup for Chlamydia and make sure they don’t have multiple sex partners.
2 Emotional Pain
An ectopic pregnancy can be a terrifying experience for the pregnant woman. The physical and emotional pain, the chain of hospital visits and medical procedures to fix it, the tension and worry about whether it will result in fertility issues can all result in a sea of negative emotions that severely impact many women.
An ectopic pregnancy surgery cannot be treated as an abortion since, in most cases, there won’t be a heartbeat for the fetus.
The pain of losing your baby is natural but it is not something that can be avoided. An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening situation and can become very complicated and even cause the risk to your life, if not treated on time. People try to relate an ectopic pregnancy with miscarriage.
An ectopic pregnancy is out of the place pregnancy, which is not safe for the mother. But still, it can cause emotional turmoil in the mother.
1 Chances of Another Ectopic Pregnancy
As discussed earlier, the chances of getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy surgery depend on many factors. Even if you get pregnant, there is more than 35-40 percent chance that it could lead to another ectopic pregnancy.
It is very important for a woman to spend some time after an ectopic pregnancy and then check with the doctor about the chances of another ectopic pregnancy. You should never try to conceive without consulting the doctor as the chances of another ectopic pregnancy is high.
After an ectopic pregnancy, some women may take more time to get pregnant. IVF is considered to be the best option for successful pregnancy for women who have suffered from an ectopic pregnancy.
IVF has a huge success rate, especially in young women who have suffered from an ectopic pregnancy. The chances of another ectopic pregnancy from IVF are very minimal but you cannot ignore it totally.