Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo attaches itself outside the uterus. “Ectopic” came from the Latin word “ectopia” which means “presence of tissue in an abnormal place”. Most cases are called “tubal pregnancies” since the fertilized egg has implanted itself in the fallopian tube. Eventually, it causes the tube’s rupture thus resulting to miscarriage and necessitating surgery to repair/remove the affected fallopian tube.

This kind of rare condition affects 1 out of 50 pregnant women. The symptoms include intermittent sharp abdominal and/or pelvic pains and cramps, vaginal bleeding, dizziness, fainting, pain on one side of body, and gastrointestinal concerns. Ectopic pregnancy may be caused by infection, scar tissue, previous surgery, or abnormal growth in the fallopian tube. The risk factors include older than 35 years old, previous ectopic pregnancy, having undergone abdominal or pelvic surgery, previous abortions, pelvic inflammatory disease, conceiving after tubal ligation or while using an intrauterine device, having fertility treatments, and smoking.

In rare occasions the fertilized egg may implant itself in the abdomen and require surgical intervention. There are accounts in medical literature of these types of abdominal pregnancies having gone full-term with the fetus dying due to lack of surgical intervention. This type of event can result in the formation of a "lithopedian" or a "stone baby." as the body attempts to wall off the dead fetus from the rest of the body

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