What To Expect From Your Doctor
If you don’t require emergency treatment and haven’t yet been diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, your doctor will talk to you about medical history and symptoms. You’ll be asked many questions about your menstrual cycle, fertility and overall health.
- When was your last period?
- Did you notice anything unusual about it?
- Have you taken a pregnancy test? If so, was the test positive?
- Have you been pregnant before? If so, what was the outcome of each pregnancy?
- Have you ever had fertility treatments?
- Do you plan to become pregnant in the future?
- Are you in pain? If so, where does it hurt?
- Do you have vaginal bleeding? If so, is it more or less than your typical period?
- Are you lightheaded or dizzy?
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Trying For Another Pregnancy
It is normally recommended that you wait for at least 2 menstrual cycles before trying for another pregnancy, as this will allow time for your fallopian tubes to recover . However, many women are not emotionally ready to try for another pregnancy so soon.
Your chances of having a successful pregnancy will depend on the underlying health of your fallopian tubes.
If you cannot conceive in the normal way then fertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilisation may be an option.
IVF treatment is where an egg is fertilised by a sperm outside the womb and, after fertilisation, the embryo is surgically implanted into the womb.
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Understanding Normal Early Pregnancy
An egg is released from an ovary into a Fallopian tube. This is called ovulation and usually occurs once a month about halfway between periods. Sperm can survive in the Fallopian tubes for up to five days after you have had sex. A sperm may then combine with the ovum to make an embryo. The tiny embryo is swept along a Fallopian tube to the womb by tiny hairs . It normally attaches to the inside lining of the uterus and develops into a baby.
Pregnancy Discomforts: When To Call The Doctor
Congratulationsyoure pregnant! The next 9 months may bring some uncomfortable changes to your body. Most of these illsincluding backache, constipation, and morning sicknessarent worrisome.
During pregnancy, be sure to watch for signs of the following complications, which do require medical attention:
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Does Implantation Bleeding Mean Its Not Ectopic
implantation bleeding may be an indication that you are pregnant and not a cause for alarm. There are several concerning causes of bleeding during pregnancy, such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and infection. For these reasons, is important to get medical attention if you have bleeding during pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy And Emotions
It is normal to feel distressed after an ectopic pregnancy. It can mean coming to terms with the loss of a baby, with a potential impact on future fertility or, for some, with the thought of having nearly lost their life. In some people, these emotions can develop into depression and anxiety if left untreated.
According to the Miscarriage Association, a person with ectopic pregnancy may be emotionally affected in a variety of ways, including:
Shock: A person may experience shock about the diagnosis, especially in cases where there has been emergency surgery or about what might have happened without diagnosis.
Loss and grief: It is normal to feel grief for the baby that was expected.
Feeling âin limboâ and unable to move on: It is common to feel frustrated at having to wait some time before being able to try again and having to have follow-up and repeated blood and urine tests.
Counseling is available for people affected by an ectopic pregnancy. Support groups are also available and may be able to put a person in touch with others in a similar situation.
A health professional will be able to provide advice on choosing the most appropriate kind of support for a person, couple or family who has experienced an ectopic pregnancy.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Ectopic Pregnancy
Often there are no symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, and it is usually detected when a mother goes for a routine pregnancy scan.
If you do have symptoms, typically these will start to show between the fourth and 12th month of the pregnancy.
These can include:
- Discomfort when going to the bathroom
- Pain in the tip of your shoulder
Fertility Problems Following Ectopic Pregnancy
Most women will make a full recovery from ectopic pregnancy and will be able to conceive normally in future.
Rarely, fertility may be affected, especially in the case of ruptured ectopic pregnancy or if a fallopian tube is removed in treatment.
If treatment has involved any kind of surgery, the risk of fertility problems is higher than if medical treatment or no treatment was needed.
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What Is Shoulder Bursitis
Shoulder bursitis is the result of inflammation in the bursa. The bursae are potential fluid-filled sacs that are part of the skeletal system. They cushion the space between bones and connective tissue, allowing tendons, muscle and bone to move together.
In the shoulder, the subacromial bursae cushion the area between the rotator cuff tendons and the acromion . Bursae allow the tendons and bones to glide without friction when you move and lift your arms.
Injuries or overuse can cause fluid to collect in bursae, causing bursitis. Painful swelling may come on gradually or suddenly. Healthcare providers may use the medical term subacromial bursitis or rotator cuff tendinitis to refer to bursitis that affects the shoulder.
What Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Feel Like
The term ectopic refers to something that is wrongly placed. When we talk of an ectopic pregnancy, we are pretty much defining a pregnancy that is in the wrong place, and in this case the pregnancy would be outside the womb or uterus.
Over 95% of all ectopic pregnancies occur due to implantation within the fallopian tubes, hence the frequent use of the alternate name, tubal pregnancies.If left treated, the tube could easily rupture and bring about internal bleeding leading to fatal consequences. Because the pregnancy cannot be moved and placed on the uterus, ectopic pregnancies do not survive. Treatment involves removal of the pregnancy tissues and the fallopian tube affected.
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How Soon Would I Know If I Have An Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms typically emerge between weeks four and 12 of pregnancy. This could be before you even realise youre pregnant. Otherwise, you may discover the embryo in an early scan . If youre not due a scan but you have symptoms or concerns, you must visit your GP or the Early Pregnancy Unit.
Ectopic Pregnancy Removal With Surgery
There are two possible aims for surgical management, which will be decided depending on damage to the affected fallopian tube and the condition of the other tube. These are:
Total salpingectomy: This involves removal of the tube containing the ectopic pregnancy and is normally recommended for people who either do not want to have any children in future, who have had another ectopic pregnancy in the same fallopian tube, or who have severely damaged tubes. This reduces the risk of a persistent ectopic pregnancy, in which some ectopic cells are left behind and continue to grow, or further ectopic pregnancies. Total salpingectomy may also be chosen in cases of uncontrolled bleeding and abnormal blood pressure.
Linear salpingostomy: This is a more conservative approach, involving a surgical incision into a fallopian tube, which aims to remove the ectopic pregnancy without removing the tube. This is normally recommended for people who have an unruptured ectopic pregnancy in the ampullary portion of the tube. This may also be chosen if the person only has one tube, or their other tube does not seem to be healthy. It carries a higher risk of future ectopic pregnancy and persistent ectopic pregnancy, but still leaves the possibility of a future uterine pregnancy. However, salpingostomy is not always possible.
The operation will be performed under general anesthetic in one of two ways:
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Has Any Baby Survived An Ectopic Pregnancy
Doctors have hailed as a miracle the birth of a baby who beat odds of 60m to one to become the first to develop outside the womb and live. Not only did the baby boy and his mother survive an ectopic pregnancy but so did two other baby girls. Ronan Ingram was one of three children born to Jane Ingram, 32.
What Is Shoulder Tip Pain And What Does It Feel Like
Shoulder tip pain is when you experience an abnormal pain where your arm and shoulder meet.
It is not known why this particular pain occurs after an ectopic pregnancy but it is thought to be linked to internal bleeding which can occur with the condition.
If you experience this pain you should get medical advice straight away.
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Shoulder Pain In Pregnancy: Ectopic Or Normal
Other Signs Of Ectopic Pregnancy
Less common symptoms include:
- Bowel and bladder problems, such as diarrhea, and pain when defecating or urinating
- A feeling of fullness when lying down that is not associated with eating, particularly in people who have already had a child
- Back pain
It is possible to have an ectopic pregnancy without experiencing any symptoms until rupture of the fallopian tube or close organs. After rupture, signs and symptoms may include:
- Severe stomach pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
- Shoulder pain, described as a strange pain that feels different to any pain that a person has otherwise experienced, located at the tip of the shoulder, where it joins the arm, caused by internal bleeding
If you are concerned that you may have an ectopic pregnancy, you can use the Ada app for a free symptom assessment.
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How Is Shoulder Bursitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to assess shoulder pain and range of motion. You may also get these diagnostic tests:
- X-rays to check for arthritis, bone spurs and other problems that can affect the shoulder.
- MRI or ultrasound to look for inflammation in bursae.
- Joint aspiration to drain and test fluid in the bursa for infection or gout.
Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain In Pregnancy
Shoulder pain during pregnancy can happen at any time, and for many reasons. Most of the time, its normal.
It happens due to changes to your muscles and joints. Causes can include straining your back, sleeping in a funny position, not having good posture, and standing for too long.
Typical shoulder pain during pregnancy might feel like stiffness or achiness. It shouldnt feel like severe or stabbing pain.
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Are There Any Complications Of Ectopic Pregnancy
In the now uncommon event of the ectopic pregnancy rupturing, there may be severe consequences. Heavy bleeding can cause serious medical problems and, occasionally, even death. However, most women are now diagnosed in the early stages, before this happens. In this scenario, most women recover very well. There are some rare complications after surgery, which your gynaecologist would discuss with you before the operation. As discussed, there are often some side-effects from taking the medical treatment option.
Women often want to know if they will be able to have a normal pregnancy in the future after an ectopic pregnancy. If you had no past history of problems conceiving or diseases involving your Fallopian tubes before your ectopic pregnancy, your fertility will not be affected and you should have no more chance of having an ectopic pregnancy than a woman who has not had an ectopic pregnancy.
It is common to feel anxious or depressed for a while after treatment. Worries about possible future ectopic pregnancy, the effect on fertility, and sadness over the loss of the pregnancy are normal. Do talk with a doctor about these and any other concerns following treatment.
What Are The Problems With An Ectopic Pregnancy
A tubal ectopic pregnancy never survives. Possible outcomes include the following:
- The pregnancy often dies after a few days. About half of ectopic pregnancies probably end like this. You may have no symptoms and you may never have known that you were pregnant. Sometimes there is slight pain and some vaginal bleeding similar to a miscarriage. Nothing further needs to be done if this occurs.
- The pregnancy may grow for a while in the narrow Fallopian tube. This can stretch the tube and cause symptoms. This is when an ectopic pregnancy is commonly diagnosed.
- The narrow Fallopian tube can only stretch a little. If the pregnancy grows further it will normally split the Fallopian tube. This can cause heavy internal bleeding and pain. This is a medical emergency.
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Other Types Of Ectopic Pregnancy
There are other types of ectopic pregnancies, all of which are rare. These include:
Interstitial pregnancy: This occurs in the part of the fallopian tube embedded in the uterus wall. It is typically hard to diagnose and can therefore be particularly dangerous, as it may progress further and rupture later, damaging both the fallopian tube and the uterus wall.
Cervical ectopic pregnancy: Pregnancy in the cervix â the passage between the womb and vagina â is one of the rarest forms of ectopic pregnancy and carries a risk of life-threatening vaginal hemorrhage. This is due to the possibility of heavy bleeding when the ectopic pregnancy tissue separates from the cervix, which contains many blood vessels.
Ovarian ectopic pregnancy: This is typically difficult to diagnose, as it can appear very similar to a tubal ectopic pregnancy that is stuck to the ovary. It is usually not diagnosed until surgery, when partial or complete removal of the ovary will usually be necessary.
Cesarean scar ectopic pregnancies: This occurs when a fertilized egg implants into the scar from a cesarean section. The pregnancy can grow out of the uterus or into the cervix, which can lead to massive internal or vaginal bleeding. In some cases, the fetus may be able to survive until birth, but with the risk of significant maternal bleeding and removal of the womb, known as hysterectomy, at delivery.
What Does Shoulder Pain Feel Like In Ectopics
Hello. I’ve just done a pregnancy test after previous bfn’s and it’s a lovely clear 2nd positive line!!!! I’m worried though because I keep getting pains. It feels like period pain and then sometimes like and on off pain on my left side low down. Like where my ovaries are? I’ve had two previous miscarriages in a row so I am scared I’ve got an ectopic now! The pain was before I knew I was pregnant. It hasn’t happened in a couple of days now. ButYesterday at work I had a pain in my shoulder. Right at the tip. It lasted about 30 seconds and was like a sharp throbbing. If that makes sense? If I was reading this myself I would probably say it’s nothing to worry about I’m just being paranoid because of the previous losses. I just can’t help but worry. All I’ve ever been to the doctors for recently is bleeding in pregnancy. I think the epu are getting to know me. I feel like I shouldn’t go back just yet. If you had an ectopic what did your shoulder pain feel like? . Thank you. X
I haven’t had an ectopic pregnancy but have had similar one sided ‘ovary’ type pain and this page was helpful for me and meant I felt I could discount ectopic pregnancy for the moment.If you are still worried I would give the EPAU a call, it is what they are there for and they would much rather see you than risk you getting very ill. Hopefully it is just your uterus stretching and an unconnected muscular pain, but better safe than sorry.
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