6 Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy
Normal pregnancy occurs when zygote (mature ovum fertilized by male sperm) is implanted inside the uterine cavity. On the other side, ectopic pregnancy occurs when the ovum fertilized extrauterine; usually in the fallopian tube (the duct between ovary and uterine cavity).
Ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical condition, as zygote growth inside fallopian tube leads to rupture of the fallopian tube and internal hemorrhage. The cause of ectopic pregnancy isn't clearly known, but there are some risk factors that increase the incidence of ectopic pregnancy, they include:
- Advancing maternal age (older than 35 years).
- Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Previous history of ectopic pregnancy.
- Previous surgical history related to fallopian tube or nearby structure as appendix.
- Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD).
- Overdose of hormonal drugs to stimulate ovulation.
Ectopic pregnancy is usually discovered by the 4th or 5th week of pregnancy, the patient complains of acute abdomen accompanied with nausea and vomiting. Diagnosis is established by +ve pregnancy test as well as pelvi-abdominal ultrasound examination which reveals extrauterine pregnancy.
Management of ectopic pregnancy includes administration of methotrexate which helps in fibrosis and absorption of the newly-formed embryo, follow-up by ultrasound is very important to ensure complete recovery. In resistant (failure of methotrexate) or complicated (rupture of fallopian tube), surgical intervention is the only available choice.