This post is inspired by the story of a dear sister whom we almost lost to ectopic pregnancy recently. She passed out and was rushed by family and neighbors to the hospital. It was almost too late! We were all so grateful that she survived it. Not too long after this incidence while in the hospital to do a check-up myself, my doctor lamented over recent cases of ectopic pregnancy. He was sincerely upset by the fact that women who have ectopic pregnancy show up at the hospital almost too late; some did not survive. I sat there at the hospital knowing that something had to be done. So here I am trying to start with writing this piece in order to educate as many people as possible. Please share with others and read up on other materials on ectopic pregnancy.
When pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, then it is an ectopic pregnancy. This is also when a fertilized egg settles outside the uterus or womb usually in the fallopian tube. It is also referred to as tubal pregnancy.
It is important to know that ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening pregnancy complication for women. If not quickly discovered can cause serious reproductive organ damage or death. Every life is sacred and no woman should have to die giving birth to another life.
Ectopic pregnancy is a cause of maternal death among women in the first three months of pregnancy. Bleeding occurs when the tube where the baby is growing ruptures and this can lead to death.
According to a Wikipedia report the rate of ectopic pregnancy 1-2% in developed countries and can be as high as 4% with pregnancies achieved through reproductive technology. In developing countries it is higher.
A sign that ectopic pregnancy might have occurred:
- When menstruation does not show up for a while and a woman experiences sharp pain in the lower abdomen. It is therefore very important to study your menstrual circle. (Know the date of your last menstruation that is the day you started. Be informed about the number of days your circle takes e.g 28days or 30days).
- Irregular bleeding which can be heavy or lighter
Risk factors/Causes of ectopic pregnancy
- Previous infection in the fallopian tube.
- Previous surgery of the pelvis or fallopian tube.
- A blocked tube which can hinder a fertilized egg from descending to the uterus.
- Previous inflammatory diseases of the fallopian tube and pelvis.
- Previous attempts at using technology to achieve pregnancy e.g IVF.
- Previous abortions
Is it treatable?
Yes, ectopic pregnancy when it occurs is treatable. A surgery is usually carried out to remove the growing baby from the fallopian tube in order to save the life of the mother.
Ectopic pregnancy is a major cause of death among women of reproductive age in Africa. When a woman delays going to the hospital, it may be too late to save her.
Dear woman, once you notice a delay in your menstrual flow and you are experiencing sharp pains in your abdomen or bleeding do not play the guessing game of self-medication! Go to see your doctor in the hospital!!!