Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy occurring outside the womb and poses life-threatening outcomes to the pregnant woman. Such a pregnancy cannot be accomplished and the developing cells need to be removed to save the pregnant woman’s life.
Treatment of ectopic pregnancy depends substantially upon individual cases. There are two primary ways of treating an ectopic pregnancy – medicinal and surgical.
Tips To Treat Ectopic Pregnancy
Generally, an ectopic pregnancy is treated early so that rupture and excessive blood loss is avoided. Treatment relies upon how early the pregnancy is detected and the overall condition of the pregnant woman.
Treatment may go beyond being a matter of choice when detection (or diagnosis) of ectopic pregnancy is done late or/and causes bleeding. Then, only surgery remains the form of treatment.
An ectopic pregnancy can be ended without going under the knife through medicinal treatment. Methotrexate is a folic acid antagonist and which is a popular medical therapy for treating ectopic pregnancy. It deactivates dihydrofolate reductase, which in turn inhibits the rapidly-growing fetus. Methotrexate therapy can be implemented through single-dose and multiple-dose regimens.
The former can be an easier therapy and possibly produce lesser side effects. However, it can be a little less effective compared to the multiple-dose therapy. It can take about 3-7 weeks after methotrexate therapy for the pregnancy to resolve.
Women who are not suited to medicinal therapy can opt for surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancy. If the symptoms are severe, or the hCG levels are high or there is bleeding, surgery is usually done.
Since medicine is unlikely to work and there can be chances of a rupture (over time), women are recommended to undergo surgery. There are two types of surgery – salpingostomy and salpingectomy.
In this surgical treatment, an ectopic growth is removed through a small cut in the fallopian tube. The cut may close spontaneously or is stitched. If the other fallopian tube is damaged, the doctor may opt for a salpingostomy to improve the chances of pregnancy in the future.
Here, a segment of the fallopian tube is removed. The healthy part of the fallopian tube may remain intact or re-connected. This type of surgical treatment is done when the fallopian tube gets stretched by the pregnancy and there is likelihood of rupture or damage.
Considerations When Implementing A Treatment Procedure
Methotrexate therapy can produce side effects as rash, nausea, bone marrow suppression, alopecia, enhanced liver enzymes, stomatitis, and diarrhea. Everyone cannot undergo methotrexate therapy. It can be performed in women having low (less than 15,000 IU per L) beta-hCG levels. The lesser the beta-hCG levels at the beginning of treatment, the higher is the chance of its success.
Additionally, pregnant women should be reliable and ready to follow-up regularly as and when needed. Some medical conditions as renal disease and pulmonary disease can restrict this therapy. Both the types of surgical procedures are done either through a small incision (laparoscopy) or through a large abdominal incision (laparotomy). Depending upon individual case, one form of surgery is implemented.
Laparoscopy takes less time and facilitates faster recovery but cannot be suited for an emergency tubal ectopic removal. Surgery, though is a faster treatment for ectopic pregnancy, can lead to scar tissue creating pregnancy related problems later in life. The fallopian tube can also get damaged during the surgical procedure.