The human reproductive system’s complexity is mind-boggling. It is incredible that the egg also leaves the safety of the ovary and begins its path down the fallopian tube. Another great feat of the human body is the mechanism by which sperm manage to scurry their way to reach the egg through the harsh atmosphere of a woman’s body. One of the most amazing facts is that in the vast majority of circumstances, the egg and sperm touch, enter, and make their way into the uterus, kicking off the beginning of a new existence.
According to the study done by Barnhart, (2009) confirms that however, the perilous journey is not always finished. When this occurs, the parents face one of the most severe, potentially fatal, medical conditions: ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic births are the most common cause of death. When an ectopic pregnancy is discovered, there are several considerations that must be made. Not only do you have to cope with complications, diagnoses, medications, and outcomes, but you also have to deal with legal ethics.
For instance, to understand better, ectopic heartbeats occur when a heartbeat originates from an irregular area of the heart, and ectopic pregnancy occurs when a child is not correctly curled up in the uterine cavity. The baby can be found in multiple places in an ectopic pregnancy. The end of the fallopian tube is the most popular location. It may also lodge on the ovary, within the cervix, or, in extreme cases, in the uterus. This review discusses the evaluation, predisposing factors and causes, diagnosis, psychological impacts, and the treatment of ectopic pregnancy.
Evaluation of Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic is a word that simply means “out of place.” Additional objects in the human body can also be called ectopic because it lies abnormally in the body. Ectopic is one of the miscarriages that is the most prevalent risk in early birth, occurring in 15 to 20% of clinically apparent births (Wilcox et al., 1988). Ectopic pregnancy is described as the placement of a fertilized egg outside the endometrial cavity, which takes place in 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies, and is potentially fatal. Data from CDC surveillance shows that between 1970 and 1992, the rate of ectopic pregnancy increased rapidly has since stabilized. The related mortality rate has dropped dramatically to around ten deaths per 1000 pregnancies that happen because of early detection and treatment before bursting.
Transvaginal ultrasonography along with a serum level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) examination is done quickly and reliably to detect an unruptured ectopic pregnancy. The first step in determining a woman who presents with the symptoms mentioned above in the first trimester of pregnancy is to assess if the pregnancy is actually viable; if not, the pregnancy’s position can be determined. An ectopic pregnancy, a developing intrauterine pregnancy, or a nonviable intrauterine pregnancy will be detected in the end. The treatment for the disease is vastly different, emphasizing the importance of a conclusive and correct diagnosis.
Factors Evaluated Using Statistical Data.
Even though many people with ectopic pregnancy had no known risk factors, a prospective case-control review showed an improved understanding of ectopic pregnancy. And knowledge of the underlying risk factors aids in the identification of women at higher risk, allowing for earlier and more precise detection (Sivalingam et al., 2011). The risk factors are discussed below.
Fallopian Tube Damage
The injury to the fallopian tube is a frequent source of ectopia. A fertilized egg may get trapped in a tube’s weakened region and start growing there. The damages include previous surgeries like tubal and vaginal surgeries, such as cesarean birth and ovarian.
The incidence of an EP is exceptionally upsetting for an infertile couple who has pinned their hopes on the treatment’s success, particularly given the high cost and physical and emotional pain both have experienced during the treatment process (Patil, 2012). In turn, it prevents or hinders the regular transportation of the embryo from reaching the uterine cavity.
Use of contraceptives
According to one theory, progesterone alters tubal activity, inhibits contractility, and thereby inhibits the transport of ovum or blastocysts. Ectopic pregnancies can occur as a result of treatment failure with a progestogen-only emergency contraceptive pill via the exact mechanism (ECP).
Infections from sexual practices-
Studies done shows that women who have had chlamydia have a higher chance of having an ectopic pregnancy due to the infection’s long-term effects. A particular protein is produced, which causes the egg to implant in the fallopian tube.
The study that was done by Schrager et., al (2004) shows that Diethylstilbestrol was used to reduce the implications of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. The synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen became a threat when young mothers started developing a clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vaginal and cervix. Hence, utero may have anatomical reproductive tract abnormalities, leading to miscarriage and unfavorable pregnancy results.
History of Pelvic inflammatory disease
In women with a history of PID, infertility is a big concern. Scarring and adhesions between tubal lumens may be caused by infection and inflammation. 50% of people with tubal cause infertility have never had PID but have scarring antibodies to C trachomatis found in their fallopian tubes. The number of episodes of infection raises the rate of infertility.
Tubal Abnormalities and Tubal ligation
For decades, the nature of a post-tubal-ligation condition with menstrual irregularities has been questioned. Data shows that women who had tubal sterilization had a higher risk of chronic menstrual abnormalities than women who had not.
Data from physical findings.
There is a lot of research that has established the risk factors as mentioned above. Other risks that are not mentioned above are smoking, age above 35, and use of technology in reproduction. Increased sensitivity and knowledge of EP risk factors could allow for an early and precise diagnosis of the disorder, eliminating surgery and complicating it. IVF-ET and existing IUD usage, in addition to the conventional risk factors, play a significant role in the prevalence of EP. Women who have had IVE-ET surgery for tubal infertility should be given special attention (Sivalingam et al., 2011).
It’s possible that a woman may not be sure that she’s expecting. Abdominal pressure, the lack of menstrual cycles, and genital leakage or intermittent bleeding are the three classic signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. However, about half of all females with an ectopic pregnancy may not exhibit all three symptoms. These signs are seen with both ruptured ectopic pregnancies (those with severe internal bleeding) and non-ruptured ectopic pregnancies. However, although these signs are indicative of an ectopic pregnancy, they do not usually indicate the presence of ectopic pregnancy and may indicate other disorders. In reality, these symptoms are also associated with a threatened abode.
Ectopic signs of pregnancy usually occur 6 to 8 weeks following the last normal menstrual period. And if the ectopic pregnancy is not present in the Fallopian tube, it can last longer. An ectopic pregnancy can also cause other pregnancy problems, including nausea and breast pain. Weakness, dizziness, and a sense of passing out while standing may be signs of internal bleeding and decreased blood pressure exacerbated by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and medical attention should be sought immediately. Some women don’t recognize that they are experiencing leaking ectopic pregnancy. They are caught in a rude shock when the symptoms become more prone, like low pressure, slow heartbeat, and pale skin.
The detection of ectopic pregnancy has dramatically improved the advancement of EPU due to improvements in ultrasound technologies, quick and responsive serum hormone testing, and increased sensitivity and knowledge of underlying risk factors. Nonetheless, over half of all the women with ectopic pregnancy syndrome will not be detected at the beginning. Early diagnosis reduces the risk of tubal collapse and makes surgical treatment more conservative.
Use of β-hCG Measurements
Confirming pregnancy is crucial. The urinary or serum concentration of human β-chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) is diagnosed for pregnancy in the emergence service. This hormone can be detected in urine and blood one week before a predicted cycle of the menstrual system. Serum testing detects 5 IU/L levels, while urine testing detects 20–50 IU/L levels. The majority of times, the procedure is performed with a urinary test since it takes a long time to collect the findings of a serum test which is not always available at night. However, even though the urine tests have a negative outcome, serum testing is conclusive where pregnancy is seriously suspected (Murray, 2005).
A single β-hCG concentration calculation cannot determine the position of the gestational sac in the serum. Despite the fact that women who experience an ectopic pregnancy have lower β-hCG levels than those who have an intrauterine pregnancy, there is a lot of overlap. According to the data collected from various samples of patients with ectopic pregnancy, it was found that across a broad spectrum of β-hCG levels, the chance of tubal rupture was similar (Murray, 2005).
Use of Progesterone
Progesterone levels in the first quarter are stable irrespective of their gestational age. Measuring serum progesterone concentrations has been studied as theoretically beneficial in addition to serum-hCG measurement. Patients in the emergency room with diagnosable first-trimester bleeding or discomfort, or both, can be categorized into two parts using progesterone measurement. a) Progesterone level patients with a high likelihood of viable intrauterine pregnancy over 20 ng/mL and b) patients with levels 4.5 ng/mL or below who have an almost certain unviable pregnancy. Aggressive medical tests and methotrexate therapy may be delayed in the former patients but given to the latter, without fear of disrupting a possibly viable intrauterine pregnancy.
Progesterone testing cannot be used to distinguish effectively between an ectopic pregnancy with CPUs that use a small amount of progesterone and IUP56 deficiency. A distinction between “low-risk” patients where a PUL might be appropriate for conservation and “at-risk” treatments for patients requiring conclusive care (Sivalingam et al., 2011).
Ultrasonography to hCG figures.
The involvement or absence of placental or ectopic pregnancy is neither identified nor forecast for breakage by a single hCG serum values. However, this may be a replacement for the gestational age indicator because it’ll be implemented to assess the amount of hCG that exceeds 100 percent of the sensitive intrauterine pregnancy ultrasound sensitivity and indicates an irregular or ectopic gestation if an intrauterine pregnancy is missing.
The usage of a value on the lower end of the scale end of the spectrum improves accuracy for detecting an ectopic pregnancy, but it also raises the positive error probability, increasing the chance of surgical or medical intervention interrupting a natural pregnancy. The precision increases when using a higher inequitable value. The preciseness of ultrasonographic results in detecting an ectopic pregnancy in a woman at risk varies depending on the serum hCG dose. According to Murray’s study in 2005, the prediction accuracy of ultrasound was as high as 80% using hCG level while the diagnosis of the ectopic pregnancy was 60%.
The image depicts intrauterine fluid accumulation in the absence of a yolk sac.
In most patients, ultrasound detection of an intrauterine pregnancy (inclusive of the yolk sac and other parts) eliminates the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy happening. Patients undergoing ovulation induction and aided reproduction, which is at risk of heterotopic pregnancy, are an exception.
The first examination for pregnant women with first-trimester bleeding or discomfort in the emergency room should then be transversal ultrasound. It not only detects ectopic pregnancy with high accuracy, but it also gives patients what they want out of their visit: data on their pregnancy’s fitness and feasibility.
Psychological Problems For Ectopic Pregnancy Patients
Farren et al., (2016) established a report stating that the relational effects of an Early Pregnancy Loss (EPL) cannot always be extrapolated by our knowledge of sadness responses in other situations. The victims have both bereavement and a painful, intimate physical encounter. They can give rise to challenges that lie in need or expectation to have children and hence a family. In comparison to other types of deaths, there is no set formality for dealing with mourning, and there is also no outward manifestation of the loss to mourn. Social expectations may also promote anonymity, which may imply less cooperation from peers or colleagues.
An ectopic pregnancy can be treated surgically or medically. Surgical care can consist of cutting or dissecting the infected Fallopian tube with the preservation of the tube. Diagnostic Laparoscopy is the most economical and recommended surgical procedure. Patients that have extensive intraperitoneal leakage, intravascular compromise, or impaired pelvic visibility at the time of laparoscopy should have a laparotomy.
In conclusion, Ectopic pregnancy is a common and risky issue, with a high risk of morbidity and a chance of maternal mortality. Many women with ectopic pregnancies have no known risk factors. The first emergency medical care to be done to an ED patient is Ultrasonography, especially if the patient is bleeding. Unpredictable results by serum β-hCG and it is calculations can then be interpreted.