A tubal or ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening medical situation.
A tubal or ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening medical situation. Such pregnancies cannot be carried to term or converted to traditional uterine pregnancies. Basically, an egg was fertilized in a fallopian tube. As the fetus grows, the tube can burst and create a life-threatening bleeding emergency. The only treatment for a tubal pregnancy is termination of the fetus through drugs or surgical methods. Most ectopic pregnancies are detected within the first three months or the first trimester.
Early signs of a tubal pregnancy include light vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal pain that is not associated with a typical menstrual period. Normal pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, frequent urination, and vomiting may accompany a tubal pregnancy.
Other possible tubal pregnancy symptoms include an urge to defecate that does not end in a bowel movement, pelvic pain, shoulder pain, lightheadedness, and fainting. Any type of stabbing pain especially in the neck, abdomen, or shoulder indicates a possible fallopian tube rupture and requires prompt medical intervention.
If tubal pregnancies are treated in a timely manner, the woman has a chance of having normal pregnancies in the future. While science has not determined why some eggs end up fertilized in a fallopian tube rather than the womb, doctors believe that women with multiple sex partners or a history of sexually transmitted diseases are much more likely to experience ectopic pregnancies. Untreated pelvic inflammatory disease is another possible cause of this medical condition. Once a woman has a tubal pregnancy, she has a greater risk of experiencing another ectopic pregnancy.