A tubal pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants (or attaches) outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.
A tubal pregnancy is unviable and cannot be turned in to a normal pregnancy. It can also prove fatal.
In case the embryo keeps growing in the fallopian tube, the tube may get damaged and cause massive bleeding.
Table of Contents
- What is a tubal pregnancy?
- What causes tubal pregnancy?
- What are signs and symptoms of a Tubal pregnancy?
- Are there any treatments for tubal pregnancy?
What is a tubal pregnancy?
A tubal pregnancy is a condition when the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.
When an egg fertilizes, it rapidly divides to form an embryo. An embryo is an early stage of baby’s early development.
This embryo keeps taking nourishment from the amniotic sac. As the baby grows, it needs to build a connection with mother’s blood supply to obtain nourishment and excrete wastes.
The embryo travels down the tubes and attaches to the lining of the uterus. It is the same lining that comes off every month as a period.
As the embryo attaches to the womb, implantation occurs. It is the first step towards the safety and sustainability of pregnancy.
The placenta starts forming and covers the baby and develops a humoral connection between mother and baby.
In case of a tubal pregnancy, the embryo implants in the tube. The fallopian tubes are narrow and have no blood vessels lining.
They cannot support the growth of an embryo. As the cells divide in the tubes, the tubes block and the woman experiences excruciating pain.
Eventually a chemical pregnancy occurs and it ends the tubal pregnancy.
You will see heavy bleeding from the vagina after the ectopic pregnancy ends.
What causes tubal pregnancy?
Many possibilities could lead to a tubal pregnancy. But none of them is a sure cause.
It is also called an Ectopic pregnancy.
Extra Uterine pregnancy is another term frequently used.
Possible causes of Tubal pregnancy are:
1) Having unprotected sex with multiple partners
Unprotected sex with strangers can cause many infections. Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to infertility. It also increases the risk of Ectopic pregnancy.
2) Use of entertainment drugs
Drug abuse adversely affects the reproductive organs. It can lead to abnormal hormone levels. All this creates complications during early pregnancy. It is a critical time and stage when implantation occurs. Drug use during this stage can alter brain activities.
3) Consuming excessive alcohol and smoking
Alcohol and smoking are causes of infertility. Infertility is not restricted to not getting pregnant. If your pregnancy is not viable, which is the case of tubal pregnancy then you are at risk of infertility. Alcohol and nicotine can cause Ectopic pregnancy.
4) Uterine abnormalities
Any divisions of the uterus can cause tubal pregnancy. There may be septum creating bifurcation in the uterus. It will make it difficult for the embryo to travel down the womb. The embryo attaches to the tubes instead causing an Ectopic pregnancy.
5) Tube blockages
It can also happen to any blocks in the path of the embryo. If your tube has a blockage and doesn’t open into the uterus, then you may have an Ectopic pregnancy. It needs treatment by surgery such as a Laparoscopy.
6) Uterine fibroids
If there are fibrous tissues in the uterus then they can cause tubal pregnancy. It can be because of any disease or any other injury.
7) Scars in the tissue
If any previous surgery has left a scar in your womb then you may have an Ectopic pregnancy. It is because the scars don’t allow the embryo to attach to the uterus.
8) Chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo
Any genetic defects in the embryo can cause a tubal pregnancy. The embryo will either stop traveling or stop dividing. It increases the chance of getting an Ectopic pregnancy.
What are signs and symptoms of a Tubal pregnancy?
Tubal pregnancy at an early stage doesn’t have any distinct signs. It almost feels like a normal pregnancy.
At times of your pregnancy test doesn’t detect pregnancy you may not even come to know about it.
Here are some symptoms of Tubal pregnancy that may appear.
- Bleeding from vagina: It is common to see pregnancy spotting. One main symptom is heavy bleeding. It generally occurs in the later stages.
- Cramping: You may feel extreme cramps in your abdominal region. There will be a local pain in the area of ovaries. It is because the growing embryo pressurizes the fallopian tubes.
- Low hCG levels: hCG levels are not enough and don’t double rapidly. Another result of low hCG is a faint positive pregnancy test. You’ll continue to get faint positive pregnancy test even after weeks from missed period.
Signs also include headaches. Morning sickness may get worse and feel like an illness.
You may also get periods while pregnant.
A false positive pregnancy test is also a consequence of Tubal pregnancy.
Are there any treatments for tubal pregnancy?
There is no treatment for tubal pregnancy. It is not viable and has to terminate.
Ectopic pregnancy cannot continue for long. The reason being, the growing embryo dies due to lack of space and nutrients.
The longer this pregnancy lasts, the more hazardous it is for your health.
Surgery is required if any remains of Tubal pregnancy persist.
Getting pregnant after tubal pregnancy needs doctor’s advice.