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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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Tubal Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy

  • In normal pregnancy, the egg and sperm come together in the fallopian tubes and implant in the uterus.  In an Ectopic Pregnancy, the implantation usually occurs in the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus).  When this occurs -- approximately 1% of pregnancies -- the pregnancy is not viable and medical or surgical treatment is required.  (Note: very rarely, an Ectopic Pregnancy can occur in a place other than the fallopian tubes.)

  • Missed period
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Pelvic pain can be severe
  • Adnexal mass
  • May have a backache and shoulder pain
  • Mass may form in lower abdomen on one side
  • Usually, the patient tests positive for pregnancy.

  • Blood tests:

- Serum beta-HCG (pregnancy test) shows a lower number of international units on the blood test than expected for a normal pregnancy

  • Imaging:
    1. Ultrasound
    2. Laparoscopy -- if the diagnosis is unclear, a small incision is made in the abdomen, allowing a scope to pass through for an internal examination.

  • History of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or gonorrhea or chlamydia infection
  • History of infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant
  • History of a ruptured appendix (i.e., the appendix actually "bursts" before surgery can be performed)
  • History of a previous Ectopic Pregnancy
  • History of tubal surgery
  • Use of an intrauterine device for contraception

  • Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary
  • Surgical removal of Ectopic Pregnancy (this type of pregnancy cannot lead to a baby) by laparoscopy (as described above) or open surgery
  • Medications:

    1. Methotrexate medication can be used in place of surgery for an early Ectopic Pregnancy
    2. Rhogam is given to women who are Rh-negative (prevents a blood reaction in future pregnancies)

  • You need immediate emergency medical treatment.  Untreated, this condition leads to death.

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