Ectopic pregnancy (EP) (also called tubal pregnancy) occurs when a fertilized egg (ovum, embryo) implants at a site other than the endometrial lining of the uterus. The incidence of EP in 1992 was 108,000 or 19.7 per 1000 reported pregnancies. Four of out 10 ectopic pregnancies occur in women between 20 to 29 years old. Over 75% of these cases are caught before the 12th week of pregnancy.
With an EP, the embryo implants outside the uterus but continues to grow and expand. Occasionally, the ectopic pregnancy will simply deteriorate spontaneously and will be absorbed by the body. However, it can rupture, and if it is inside the fallopian tube (as the majority are), the tube may also rupture if not treated in time. This can cause many serious problems, especially bleeding, infection, infertility, and even death. Therefore, early diagnosis and assessment of the woman's condition is critical in determining the appropriate care to maintain her safety and health.
The goals of treatment for EP are the preservation of the mother's safety, and the protection of her reproductive ability. The woman's condition must be ascertained to determine if immediate surgical intervention is required, or if a more conservative approach may safely be taken.
Treatment may include medications or surgical intervention.
The Medifocus Guide on Ectopic Pregnancy provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing ectopic pregnancy?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy?
What treatment options are available for the management of ectopic pregnancy?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in ectopic pregnancy?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for ectopic pregnancy?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about ectopic pregnancy?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Laparoscopic management of heterotopic pregnancy: a review. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research. 2000
Suspected ectopic pregnancy. Can it be predicted by history and examination?. Canadian Family Physician. 2000
Cornual heterotopic pregnancy: contemporary management options. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
Ectopic pregnancy. Archives of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 2000
Ectopic pregnancy. BMJ. 2000
Ectopic pregnancy. Primary Care; Clinics in Office Practice. 2000
Extra-uterine pregnancy following assisted conception treatment. Human Reproduction Update. 2000
Ectopic pregnancy. American Family Physician. 2000
Current treatment of ectopic pregnancy. Annals of Medicine. 1999
Conservative medical and surgical management of interstitial ectopic pregnancy. Fertility & Sterility. 1999
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