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Abortions are likely safe procedures when performed by registered medical practitioners. There are several risks with abortions that you cannot ignore. Ectopic pregnancy is one such risk. It can result in life-threatening complications.
Through this post, you will learn what is an ectopic pregnancy. How is it risk with abortion in Bangalore? Besides, you will also learn how an ectopic pregnancy can affect your future pregnancies. The most important thing is that ectopic pregnancy can receive early treatment with an early diagnosis. It is possible to save both the patient’s fertility and her life. Keep reading further to know more about ectopic pregnancy and how to prevent complications with it.
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
To understand what is an ectopic pregnancy, let us have a little insight into how pregnancy occurs. This is for an understanding of what’s normal and what’s not.
Pregnancy begins when a male sperm fertilizes the female egg. This happens during the fertile window of the woman. When she ovulates, the egg waits to meet a sperm for up to nearly 24 hours. In case, this union takes place, it is known as fertilization. This meeting takes place within one of the two fallopian tubes.
Fallopian tubes are small and narrow tubes that connect the womb with the ovaries. Each month an egg from an ovary is released on the ovulation day. It waits for nearly a day in the fallopian tube to meet the sperm. In case the sperm is not available, the uterine lining sheds after 7-10 days. This is when the woman has her menstrual period.
However, if the sperm is available, fertilization takes place. This fertilized egg then travels down the fallopian tube to reach the womb. It implants itself in the uterine lining. This is a case of normal pregnancy, also known as intrauterine pregnancy.
But in a case this fertilized egg does not reach the womb, it may misroute. It may either stay within the fallopian tube and implant there. Or it may mis locate to the abdominal cavity or cervix region. These are abnormal pregnancies. Since they are outside the uterus, they are examples of extrauterine or ectopic pregnancies.
The most common form of an ectopic pregnancy is where the egg remains in the fallopian tube. It is also known as tubal pregnancy.
What can an ectopic pregnancy lead to?
An ectopic pregnancy is a faulty pregnancy. You have to understand that it is a non-viable pregnancy. Hence, it is a medical condition that needs timely treatment. Otherwise, the ectopic pregnancy can continue to grow at a faulty location. But this location is not meant to support the pregnancy. And hence cannot sustain it.
What happens next depends on:
- how far the pregnancy is,
- and patient’s approach towards the pregnancy.
A patient’s approach is highly important here. It can either help the patient overcome a big threat. Or the patient may have to pay the cost of the ectopic pregnancy with impaired reproductive health. In some cases, the condition can even be fatal and take away the patient’s life.
An ectopic pregnancy can receive early treatment. It can save the patient’s health and general well-being. And it is possible to save her reproductive health as well as life.
However, if this condition does not receive immediate medical attention, it can impact the reproductive health of the patient. In the case of a tubal pregnancy, a growing pregnancy can rupture. It can lead to internal bleeding. Immediate corrective surgery is essential to save the patient’s life.
This corrective surgery is a laparoscopic procedure. The doctor removes the pregnancy tissue surgically. Since the tube also ruptures with the embryo, the fallopian tube of one side and attached ovary removal may also be essential. Or it can lead to life-threatening hemorrhage.
A patient with a ruptured pregnancy may faint when the internal bleeding starts. It can happen at any time. Higher the gestation age, more are the chances of ectopic pregnancy rupture. This is because the embryo size grows in size each day.
Who can have an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy can happen with any girl or woman. However, some women are at a greater risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy. Some of such populations include women with medical conditions or can depend on their lifestyle.
Some of the things that can make you more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy are:
- Infections like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), for example, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, etc. This is because infection can lead to inflammation. Inflammation in tubes may narrow down the passage for a fertilized egg to pass down to the uterine cavity. And there is a higher probability for it to stay in the tube.
- You have a history of ectopic pregnancy.
- You have obstructed fallopian tubes which can be due to any physiologic reason.
- Fertility treatments can also put you at a higher risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy. Infertile couples try for natural conception by all possible means. Blocked fallopian tubes are a major reason for female infertility. Many treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can put such women at further greater risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy. The actual reason is not certain but due to multiple trials, some women often develop reproductive tract infections. Disturbance in vaginal microflora can result in inflammation which can further lead to misrouting of the fertilized egg.
- Tubal surgery is often a corrective surgery performed to open the blocked tubes. It may also increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
- Smoking and excessive alcohol drinking are two major lifestyle factors that can put you at a greater risk. For women who are trying to conceive, it is better to quit such habits. Furthermore, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits can also you more prone to an ectopic pregnancy.
Can an ectopic pregnancy impact future pregnancy?
Yes, of course, an ectopic pregnancy can impact your future pregnancy. In case an ectopic pregnancy goes undiagnosed or due to negligence, it may rupture. The rupture will damage the fallopian tube in case of tubal pregnancy. Emergency surgery is necessary to save the patient’s life. During this surgery, the doctor removes the pregnancy tissue, burst tube and attached ovary. This leaves the woman with partial fertility with one undamaged fallopian tube and ovary. She may face difficulty in conceiving naturally in future.
In case the surgery is not available on time or infection spreads to the entire reproductive tract, this loss can even be complete.
A woman who has a history of ectopic pregnancy is at a higher risk of having it in future. Such women should undergo a pregnancy test and see the doctor well on time upon a missed period.
How can a patient’s approach toward her pregnancy impact the fate of an ectopic pregnancy?
How a patient is approaching her pregnancy is very important. Let’s see how.
Case 1: The pregnancy is wanted:
Consider a woman discovering the news of a pregnancy and she wants to take it to full term. Most likely, she must have taken a home pregnancy test upon her missed period. Now what she decides next is important.
Consider this woman carrying an ectopic pregnancy. The home pregnancy test only tells whether the woman is pregnant or not. Sometimes, if the hormone levels are low, they may not be detectable even in the Urine Pregnancy Test (UPT). This may lead to an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy still growing in the body.
So, she must visit a gynecologist in Bangalore upon a missed period. This should not depend on whether the UPT shows a positive or a negative result. Sometimes, with ectopic pregnancy, the levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are not high enough. And hence, the pregnancy goes undetected.
Is your UPT positive? If yes, the doctor may advise you to undergo an ultrasound. This is essential to rule out the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. In case the pregnancy is found to be ectopic, the doctor shall treat it according to the pregnancy length, location and your medical condition.
In a case UPT is negative, the doctor may ask for a beta hCG test. This can detect the hormone levels in the blood. And is a common quantitative test to detect a pregnancy. In case the beta hCG levels are indicative of a positive pregnancy, the doctor may next ask you to undergo an ultrasound. The next line of treatment will again depend on the pregnancy length, location and other patient-specific factors.
In these cases, the ectopic pregnancy diagnosis is possible at an early stage. And so is the treatment without it harming the patient’s reproductive health and life.
Now, this is a possible situation when the patient decides to visit the hospital upon a missed period.
However, consider a case the patient does not visit the hospital. In such a case, the ectopic pregnancy may continue to grow and may burst. This is how a patient’s negligence can lead to her lost health. And the condition can even be fatal.
Case 2: The pregnancy is unwanted:
This is now one of the most important lessons to learn. And you may not want to miss it if you have recently discovered that you are carrying an unwanted pregnancy. This is because the perspective of a patient varies for an unwanted pregnancy from a wanted one.
A woman with a planned pregnancy may be happily expecting and visiting a gynecologist for a healthy pregnancy. Whereas, the girl carrying an unwanted pregnancy may be reluctant in visiting an abortion hospital. To some extent, some married women can receive safe medical help. But stigma with abortions keeps them also back-footed when it comes to obtaining a safe abortion.
But unmarried girls do not look forward to this option. They hesitate more due to unknown fears they may be having. Furthermore, premarital sexual relationships are not very welcome in Indian society. And hence, unmarried girls usually resort to secret abortions. And most of these secret abortion methods are unsafe. They tend to buy abortion pills without prescriptions. Not knowing the risks involved, they just want to get rid of unwanted pregnancies and find the most-wanted liberation.
An unsafe abortion with an unwanted pregnancy:
Now consider a case of an unwanted pregnancy where a girl/woman does not visit a registered abortion clinic. In this case, she may either pop in abortion tablets like Mankind Unwanted kit. Or she may attempt another unsafe abortion method.
Now, what happens the next? Abortion pills will not result in an abortion. The girl may face serious abdominal cramps and pain as a result of abortion pills. But how can the tablets cause uterine cleaning when the embryo is not there. The abortion tablets she may most likely avail of work only on intrauterine pregnancies.
She has not visited an abortion clinic and not got a scan done. Hence, she does not know if abortion pills are for her. She may experience slight bleeding which may get her into thinking that the abortion is done. However, the ectopic pregnancy may still not be removed and may rupture leading to fatal internal bleeding. It is an emergency situation. The patient’s life is in danger. She needs immediate medical attention and corrective surgery.
A safe abortion with an unwanted pregnancy:
Speaking of today, even unmarried girls are getting aware of their reproductive rights. And even registered abortion hospitals like Bangalore Genesis Hospital (BGH) are trying to provide confidential abortions in Bangalore. This comes as a relief to women and girls who are looking for secret abortions. They can obtain confidential abortions without compromising their privacy.
So, married and unmarried girls are obtaining safe abortions to prevent complications. Unwanted pregnancy can come as a surprise to anyone. However, your approach towards its termination can change the entire landscape of your post-abortion journey.
So, when such girls come to the abortion clinic, the doctor sends them for an ultrasound checkup. This is to ensure both the pregnancy location and length. Further abortion method choice and prescription depend largely on these two things.
Now, in such a case, if the report says, “ectopic pregnancy”, the doctor can treat it promptly. The doctor can check for other patient-specific factors and treat the condition. This treatment can either be medical or surgical depending on the pregnancy length and location.
If the pregnancy stage is very early, the doctor may give the medicines to the patient. These medicines will stop the pregnancy’s growth and help in its expulsion without any surgery. This can save both the patient’s fertility as well as her life.
And even if surgery is essential as per the patient’s medical condition, there is a possibility to save at least her partial fertility besides life. She may still be able to get pregnant in future. Whereas with ruptured ectopic pregnancy complications, the patient’s condition may get worse. Both her fertility and life may be at risk.
How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?
An ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed by transvaginal ultrasound. It is a simple radio-diagnostic test that takes less than 2 minutes to figure out an ectopic pregnancy. It’s a routine test and the reports are normally out within a few minutes.
Whether a pregnancy is wanted or unwanted, the importance of diagnostic ultrasound cannot be ignored. An ectopic pregnancy is a medical condition and it is possible to treat it. An early diagnosis makes way for early and safer treatment. A delay may increase the complications and risks can be life-threatening.
What is the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy may be treated either medically or surgically. With medical treatment, the medicines can stop the pregnancy growth and help in its safe removal from the body.
With surgical treatment, there is a risk of partial or complete loss of fertility. However, a timely diagnosis and early treatment can prevent further complications and save the woman’s fertility.
The surgery is performed by registered medical practitioners. You can expect them to have received training to complete laparoscopic surgery and remove an ectopic pregnancy. Therefore, an ectopic pregnancy can safely be removed surgically without impacting the woman’s fertility. However, this depends on the exact size of the embryo, its location and some important patient medical factors like any co-existing medical condition.
Is ectopic pregnancy risk preventable?
Ectopic pregnancy as discussed can happen with any girl or woman. However, certain risk factors can put you at a higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet can prevent some of the risks. Staying healthy can bring down the probability of your having an ectopic pregnancy.
However, in case you have missed your period, please do not ignore the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. In a case, your pregnancy is found to be ectopic, it can be treated early. The earlier the treatment, the safer it is. And in case it is an intrauterine pregnancy and you want it, you can enjoy this piece of good news. And take good care of your health. All the best. We wish you a new beginning.
In a case, your pregnancy is intrauterine but is unexpected, you can choose to terminate it. Abortion in India is legal both for married and unmarried women. It is available for up to 20 weeks in general circumstances. And you can obtain it safely only with your consent.
In case you wish to have a consultation and abortion appointment at a registered abortion clinic near you, you can inquire about an early slot available for Gentle Care abortion. Gentle Care abortion is a safe, quick, short and painless method of abortion available at Bangalore Genesis Hospital (BGH). Since the hospital is a private abortion clinic, you can obtain a safe, legal and confidential abortion. Gentle Care abortion is available as a single-appointment procedure with a quick recovery. You can return home the same day and resume your routine shortly after the abortion.
The hospital accepts abortions only by appointment and you may not want to miss an early slot. You can call their helpline number to schedule an early appointment.
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