Ectopic or tubal pregnancy is a reality and holds a strong impact to those that have gone through this in pregnancy. Having a tubal pregnancy can literally end a woman’s child-bearing years leaving her in emotional and physical turmoil. Knowing what tubal pregnancy symptoms are will help you to make the right decision if you are experiencing problems early on in your pregnancy.
Ectopic or tubal pregnancies occur within 1% of all women and is the cause of 9% of all miscarriages and pregnancy-related complications. A tubal pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg implants itself in cells and the fallopian tubes because it was unable to attach itself to the uterine wall. The difference between ectopic and tubal pregnancies is that, with a tubal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes whereas with an ectopic pregnancy the fertilized egg implants in random cells throughout that internal region of your body (cells other than those in the uterine wall). As the growing fetus stays in the fallopian tubes and attempts to obtain a substantial amount of blood in a location that isn’t made for that, that particular area where the egg has attached itself becomes damaged and you can begin hemorrhaging; sometimes the hemorrhage is so bad that you may need blood transfusions to generate your blood supply and keeping you from contracting serious illnesses or even face a fatal health problem.
Approximately one-half of all tubal pregnancies resolve themselves when the fetus miscarries itself. In the other half of tubal pregnancies where the unborn fetus has not miscarried, the fallopian tubes will rupture. The symptoms to be aware of when this happens include extreme sharp pains and a substantial loss of blood through severe vaginal bleeding. This may lead to long-term fertility and permanent damage to the fallopian tubes preventing you from becoming pregnant again and may result in death if the rupture is severe enough.
There are several more tubal pregnancy symptoms that women should be aware of after becoming pregnant. Before going into the symptoms it is important to discuss the possible causes and risk factors. Women who experience tubal pregnancies may have gone through invasive therapy in the regions that need to be healthy for pregnancy, may have had many sexual partners leading to possible infections and STD’s, unexplained infertility problems, smoking, and the reversal of tubal ligations. Tubal pregnancies are more often found in older women and in women that frequently use vaginal douches. Regardless, 50% of all women that go through a tubal pregnancy do so without any explanation.
Moving on to the symptoms of a tubal pregnancy: there are many signs that they are occurring. They start very early on in the pregnancy and are typically not noticed. Between five and eight weeks after conception, symptoms begin to show. Early signs that indicate a tubal pregnancy include severe stomach cramping or discomfort in the lower abdominal area with swelling in the area of where the fertilized egg implanted. Other signs include extreme discomfort with urination or having a bowel movement and vaginal bleeding. As the tubal pregnancy progresses, the signs become more severe and show up as having extreme discomfort and bleeding both internal and external due to falling progesterone levels.
At this point, it could be difficult to differentiate between a normal miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy. More extreme symptoms that may occur include severe abdominal or lower back pain, pelvic distress and cramping together with swelling localized to one side of the pelvis. Extreme shoulder pain is another sign of a tubal pregnancy triggered by a large amount of blood moving up through the stomach cavity and reeking havoc on your diaphragm. This is an indication that you have lost an extreme amount of blood and should be treated immediately to prevent death.
Catching these tubal pregnancy symptoms and being treated for these symptoms in time could prevent serious health complications and pregnancy complications down the road. If left untreated, internal bleeding could become so extreme that blood transfusions will be needed and may ultimately lead to death.