How To Spot an Ectopic Pregnancy
More than knowing the causes, you must know how to prevent ectopic pregnancy complications. You will be more adept at avoiding the dangers of ectopic pregnancy if you know how to spot the signs of symptoms.
The Earliest Signs and Symptoms
Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy is hard to detect in its early stages. You will have the symptoms of a normal pregnancy, such as a missed period, nausea, sore breasts, and fatigue. If you take the pregnancy test, it will also come out positive.
However, this pregnancy will not continue as normal. As the baby grows in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside the uterus, the signs will show up one by one. Specifically, the symptoms may show between the 4th and 12th week.
- Vaginal Bleeding. If you do not suspect pregnancy, you may think that vaginal bleeding is your normal monthly menstruation. However, unlike the normal menstrual blood, vaginal blood in ectopic pregnancy may be dark brown and watery. Additionally, it’s not “continuous,” it often starts and stops.
- Abdominal Pain. Since a lot of things can cause tummy pain, such as indigestion and gas, it will be hard to use this symptom to spot an ectopic pregnancy. However, if you are keen to know how to prevent ectopic pregnancy complications, you must take note of abdominal pain. Typically, you can feel this pain on one side of your lower abdomen.
- Shoulder Pain. To be more specific, you will feel the pain on your shoulder tip. This is the point where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. Doctors call it “referred pain,” and it might happen when a ruptured ectopic pregnancy causes internal bleeding which affects the diaphragm (the diaphragm and shoulder tip have the same set of sensory nerves).
- Pain during urination and bowel movement. With an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience pain when you pee or pass stool. Diarrhea may also be included.
When To See a Doctor
If you suspect having this condition, the best practice on how to prevent ectopic pregnancy complications is to seek medical attention right away. In other words, if you believe that you may be pregnant and then you experience any of the symptoms described above, consult your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room for prompt assessment.
Additionally, you must seek medical help immediately if you develop the following emergency symptoms:
- Sharp and sudden pain in the abdomen; the pain can also be described as “intense”
- Light-headedness or feeling faint or dizzy
- Looking very pale
- Feeling sick
These signs may indicate the rupture of a fallopian tube. A rupture happens when the ectopic pregnancy grows large enough to “split-open” the fallopian tube. Please note that this is a medical emergency and surgery is necessary to stop the bleeding.