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Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

Ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening situation, and needs immediate medical attention. Let's learn more from the following women's health article.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
One of the happiest moments in a woman's life is when she discovers she is pregnant. The lady begins to dream about her to be child and begins to prepare for the long 9 months. However, her dreams are shattered when the pregnancy is described as an ectopic pregnancy. Also, known as tubal pregnancy, it is a serious complication that can lead to death of the mother. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a major complication that requires emergency medical treatment.

What is Ectopic Pregnancy
In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants itself within the uterus. However, 1 in 50 pregnancies is such, where the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus. How does this happen? Well, the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus. If the fallopian tube is blocked, damaged or is unable to push the egg forward to the uterus, the egg remains implanted in the tube. The egg begins to develop within the fallopian tube and thus, called tubal pregnancies. In most cases, the egg is implanted within the fallopian tube. In a few cases, the egg gets implanted within the ovary, cervix, abdomen or in a C-section scar.

Signs of Ectopic Pregnancy
The initial symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are very vague and subtle. The symptoms generally include:
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, inflammation
  • Pain while urinating
  • Mild vaginal bleeding, that appears like implantation bleeding
  • Pain when passing stools
As the ectopic pregnancy grows, a woman may suffer from external bleeding due to reduction in progesterone levels. She may even suffer from internal bleeding due to ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

What is Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy
The fertilized egg growing in the fallopian tube requires room to grow. The fallopian tube is not as elastic and stretchable like the uterus. As the egg grows, it begins to expand the tube. There is a limit for the fallopian tube muscles to stretch. Once this limit is crossed, it causes rupture of the tube. This condition is called ruptured ectopic pregnancy that leads to severe internal bleeding.

Symptoms include a sharp, unbearable pain in the pelvic region. This stabbing pain radiates towards the lower abdomen, lower back. The diaphragm is pressed due to the rupture and this may also cause shoulder pain. Other symptoms include:
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Fainting spells
The vaginal bleeding is very dark in color, and has a continuous flow. If the patient suffers from an intraperitoneal hemorrhage, it will lead to hypovolemic shock due to blood loss. The internal bleeding will cause a feeling of fullness in the abdomen. The drop in blood pressure will cause shock, sweating, weakness, as well as loss of consciousness.

An ectopic pregnancy ruptures after about 6 to 8 weeks from the last menstrual period. If the fertilized egg was implanted partially into the fallopian tube, it may take about 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy for it to rupture. It is very important to seek treatment as it may prove fatal for the mother. The treatment involves surgical intervention to stop the bleeding, and remove the affected tube along with the pregnancy. However, women who avail modern medical treatment rarely die from ruptured tubal pregnancy. This is because, before the tube ruptures the pregnancy is terminated. One cannot move the implanted egg to its normal position under any circumstances. Thus, abortion or medical termination of pregnancy is the only option left to save the live of the mother, and prevent rupture of tubal pregnancy.

If one suffers from sharp pain in the pelvic region, they should seek immediate medical attention. Ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a serious complication. Speak to a gynecologists for more details related to tubal pregnancy and its possible rupture.