Pregnancy can be quite exciting but there are few things which every Woman should know beforehand. Most of us won’t even know what an Ectopic Pregnancy is until it has occurred. Many women would have heard about miscarriages but would be totally unaware of Ectopic Pregnancies. Ectopic Pregnancy is a medical complication where the fertilized egg implants anywhere other than the uterine lining. eg: Tubal Pregnancy. You can read more about Ectopic Pregnancy here.
As women, it is better to be aware of Miscarriages and Ectopic Pregnancies before you start conceiving. If you are actively trying to conceive, then it is a good idea to start monitoring Ovulation. Conception occurs after ovulation, provided the egg and sperm meet and the conditions are favorable. If conception occurs, the fertilized egg begins traveling down the fallopian tube to the uterus for implantation. Implantation usually occurs 6-12 Days Past Ovulation (DPO). If you haven’t conceived, you are most likely to get your period 12-16 days after ovulation depending on the length of your Luteal Phase (LP). If you are trying for a baby, then, after ovulation, it is advisable to constantly monitor your body for any abnormal signs such as the ones given below. If an ectopic pregnancy is detected early during the Pregnancy, then it can be mostly treated without surgery.
The most common signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy are:-
- Light pink or dark brown color spotting which doesn’t stop after 2 or 3 days. This spotting usually occurs after Ovulation, either around the time of Implantation or around your expected Period.
- Lower abdomen pain which often starts as a dull ache and is mostly concentrated on one side.
- Lower back pain which often gets worse with time.
- Feeling weak, dizzy and light headed.
- Normal Pregnancy symptoms like Nausea, Fatigue, Cramps, Frequent Urination, Sore Breasts etc.
- Abnormal red color vaginal bleeding (light or heavy) often accompanied by blood clots can be sign of a tube rupture and is a medical emergency. This usually happens a few weeks after you have missed your period.
These are the things to do to rule out an Ectopic Pregnancy:
- If your period is due and has not begun, get a Home Pregnancy Test (HPT) and start testing. If you get a positive result but still have any unusual symptoms like the ones given above, contact your doctor immediately. The earlier an ectopic pregnancy is detected the better. Do not wait for the symptoms to get worse.
- If you have red or brown spotting for more than 2-3 days around the time of your period, and the spotting is not followed by your period, get an appointment with your doctor immediately. A normal period may start with spotting but will always continue to become proper red color bleeding. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, you may have spotting for few days but no proper bleeding.
- An ectopic pregnancy is a failing pregnancy and the HCG levels may be low and will not multiply as in a normal Pregnancy. A home pregnancy test (HPT) is a Urine based Pregnancy Test. Sometimes, a Home Pregnancy Test may not be sensitive enough to detect the HCG in Urine. Blood Pregnancy Tests are more accurate and can detect pregnancies sooner than Home Pregnancy tests. So if your period is due and you have got a Negative HPT Result, and have any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor and get a blood test done to rule out ectopic pregnancy.
- Sometimes, a week after ovulation, you may have implantation bleeding which will never last for more than a day. You may later get a positive home pregnancy test confirming your pregnancy. However, if you happen to begin spotting a few days or weeks after implantation bleeding, then it could be an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Contact your doctor immediately.
- In some cases, you may not have any unusual symptoms and may not even realize that your pregnant. All of a sudden, you may start bleeding severely often accompanied by unbearable abdominal and back pain. This may indicate a ruptured Tubal Pregnancy and you need to rush to the hospital as it is a True Medical Emergency.