What Is Ectopic Pregnancy? Know Its Symptoms, Causes And Risk Factors

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Pregnancy is a very delicate phase for the mother as well as the baby. The egg fertilizes inside the fallopian tube. This fertilized egg then attaches itself to the uterus. But in some rare cases, the fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus and grows outside, commonly in the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity or cervix. This condition is termed as ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy can become life-threatening if left untreated. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube known as tubal pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg is not able to survive because the fertilized egg cannot grow properly anywhere other than the uterus.Untreated ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency which requires immediate attention. If the fertilized egg continues to grow inside the tube, it may cause the tube to rupture. Therefore, timely treatment of ectopic pregnancy helps reduce the risk of severe complications and ensures good chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future. This is why it becomes crucial to note the changes one goes through after conceiving. Let’s look at the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy that can help women take necessary precautions on time.Signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancyInitially, you may not experience any symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. During the early stage, one might experience symptoms similar to a normal pregnancy.When the fertilized egg starts to grow in an improper place, one may notice some unusual signs and symptoms. Some of these are:Light to heavy vaginal bleedingPelvic painSharp waves of pain in the abdomen, shoulder or neckDizziness or faintingYou should contact your doctor if you think you are pregnant or you have a confirmed pregnancy and are experiencing these symptoms.Also read: Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & PreventionWhat leads to ectopic pregnancy?Tubal pregnancy, which is the most common type of ectopic pregnancy usually happens due to structural issues in the fallopian tube that make it difficult for the egg to move and it gets stuck.However, some factors increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. These include:Inflammation or infections due to STDSPrevious ectopic pregnancySmokingHormonal imbalance or abnormal development of the eggAlso read: Pregnancy: 7 Best Superfoods For Breastfeeding WomenSurgery is a common treatment for ectopic pregnancy.Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.