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Ectopic Pregnancy and Blocked Fallopian TubesBY: Nchayla | Category: Women | Post Date: 2008-07-15
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a single sperm cell connectes with an egg cell and begins to travel down the fallopian tube and fails to complete it's journey. Once this happens, the fertilized egg then implants itself in the fallopian tube or sometimes even in the peritoneum (which is the lining of the abdominal cavity), ovary or anywhere other than the uterus.
As you know, when a healthy pregnancy occurs, the egg and sperm cell connects, travels successfully through the fallopian tube and implants itself in the uterus, resulting in a normal 9-month pregnancy. However, in an ectopic pregnancy this does not happen. The fertilized egg begins to develop and grow right there inside of the fallopian tube or whever it's location, but usually 90 to 95% of the time the location of ectopic growth is in the tube. The ectopic continues to grow there until it is detected by the mother or the physician.
Ectopic pregnancies occur in about 1 out of every 150 pregnancies and can be very dangerous if they are not detected as soon as possible. Usually, the mother should have some symptoms or an idea that something is wrong with the pregnancy between 6 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. Symptoms include sharp pains on either the left or right side of the abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness, or the inability to stand up straight. Some women can go without having any symptoms at all. Ectopic pregnancies can result in tubal damage, partial tubal removal or complete tubal removal if not detected in time. However, if it is detected early enough your physician can administer a drug called methotrexate, which is an antineoplastic agent. This drug is injected at the site of the ectopic and successfully dissolves or "breaks up" tubal masses which are less than 3.5 cm.
In your worst case, another procedure must be performed which is not so friendly. This procedure is called a salpingostomy, this is performed when the damage is so extensive that the fallopian tube is beyond reconstruction. Upon this procedure, a linear laser is used to excise the ectopic pregnacy. In other words, the physician or surgeon will actually burn through the abdominal cavity to remove the ectopic implantation.
Once on the inside of the womb, it will have to be determined what can be or cannot be saved. In some cases the whole fallopian tube would have to be removed completely, or the tube would have to be partially removed where the ectopic mass had implanted itself.
After this surgery is performed, the doctor would usually advise and schedule a flushing of the tube that was not harmed. If your physician does not schedule this it would be a wise idea for you to ask him about it, especially if you fully intend on trying to have more children. The reason for this is to be sure that the remaining tube is not blocked and that it is functioning so that you could hopefully avoid another occurance of an ectopic pregnancy in the remaining tube, because you wouldn't want to lose it as well.
If your'e wondering what happens when you get a tubal flush, it really is quite simple of a procedure and should go pretty easy as far as comfort. You will be placed on a table under a special machine where your doctor will be able to see your fallopian tubes and uterus on a monitor as he carefully inserts a catheter through your cervix (at this point you will feel a quick pinch) and continues to make his way through the uterus and to the fallopian tube or tubes. After he has reached the tube with the catheter, he will inject dye through the catheter and into the tube in which the dye will run through the tube. If the dye runs all the way through the tube it is considered fine, if it only runs shortly and cannot get through, more than likely there is blockage.
The good thing about flushing your fallopian tube even if it is blocked, there is a good chance of it becoming unblocked or even the blockage loosening up over time due to the dye being forced to flush through the tube. It's kind of like a hose pipe flushing a clot through a drain, it will either remove the clot or force it to loosen even. So there is still a high chance of nature taking course and helping you out.
Truthfully, there really is no real explanation of why ectopic pregnancies happen. The only thing we do know is that somehow the fertilized egg did not complete it's trip and implant itself in the uterus, which leads us to believe that there may be scarred tissue, debri-like buildup, or even a collapse in the fallopian tube which made it impossible for the egg to get through.
There are some simple things that you can do like drink plenty of water and take in plenty of fluids containing antioxidants, sometimes it is simple as staying hydrated. Try green teas they are helpful in getting rid of impurities that have accumalated in the body and gathered in the tubes as well. A lot of times it just points to the direction of not being hydrated enough which could lead to some forms of blockage. The key factor also while you are trying to conceive is to stay positive and remember that the human body is a machine built to heal itself as well as you supplying the natural key elements it needs to help it heal itself along the way.
Also, remember that even though a tube is lost does not mean that you will not conceive again. This happened to me, I lost a tube in 2005 due to an ectopic pregnancy and have had 1 big healthy baby in 2007 and am currently 8 months into a healthy pregnancy. Good Luck!
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