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ectopic pregnancy

By Anonymous February 18, 2016 - 1:31am
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can a blood test detect ectopic pregnancy at four weeks or better yet, how soon can a blood test detect ectopic pregnancy? Thank you

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that grows in a location other than the lining of the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies (95%) occur within a fallopian tube. Rare locations include on the cervix, in the abdomen, or on an ovary.

An ectopic pregnancy cannot survive because only the uterus can support the growth of a fetus and its placenta. If an ectopic pregnancy bursts a fallopian tube, it is a medical emergency that threatens the life of the mother due to hemorrhage in the abdomen. Ectopic pregnancies occur with a frequency of 1 in 100-200 diagnosed pregnancies.

Usually, this condition has signs that are identical to a normal pregnancy – missed period, nausea and fatigue. When taking a pregnancy test, the results may even show positive. In most cases, however, this type of pregnancy does not have early signs or symptoms at all. The signs come later and may include:

Light vaginal bleeding
Lower abdominal pain
Cramping on one side of the pelvis

If the fallopian tube ruptures, symptoms may include:

Sharp, stabbing pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder and neck
Light headedness

To diagnose this, some doctors can actually feel a mass when they examine the pelvic area. Blood tests to determine a pregnancy are conducted but then it's usually a trans-vaginal ultrasound is done to see if there is an ectopic pregnancy. The pregnancy will then be terminated as it is considered non-viable and endangers the mothers life.

If you suspect you have an ectopic pregnancy, see you doctor straight away and ask for a scan, even in early pregnancy where it's likely to be possible to scan at 4-6 weeks.

You can read more on this topic here: http://www.empowher.com/ectopic-pregnancy/content/ectopic-pregnancies-overview


February 18, 2016 - 7:32am
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