Question: What are the causes, rates, risk factors, symptoms and ruptured signs of ectopic pregnancy at 5 weeks?
If you are now pregnant, you must be wondering if there is any chance you will have a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or sudden loss of your baby.
It’s possible you may experience complications in the first months of pregnancy, and in fact, the first trimester is usually a time when a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy commonly occurs.
While a miscarriage can affect some pregnancies, it may easily be confused for an ectopic pregnancy because they have similar symptoms.
What’s an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy implies your baby is growing outside your womb (rather develops within the fallopian tube), which means it will burst open as your baby grows.
If you are five weeks pregnant, it’s possible you may have an ectopic pregnancy. The chances are even higher if you’ve had trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia infections in the past without informing your doctor for advice and treatment.
The truth is, these sexually transmitted diseases will sometimes be in your body without you knowing. More than 50 percent of women with STDs will not be symptomatic, though they will still end up in the future with long-term complications.
If you’ve had sexual contact with someone in the past without use of a condom, STDs could have been gotten through this act.
Other risk factors are a surgical procedure on your fallopian tubes or if you’ve asked your doctor to tie your tube while trying to prevent pregnancy.
If you are pregnant, at five weeks, your period is now delayed for about a week. At this time, it’s possible you won’t even have symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. But you may feel pregnant.
Symptoms of pregnancy vary among women, though commonly, you may start feeling breast tenderness, weakness, excessive vaginal discharge, back pain and mood swings.
More than 10 percent of pregnancy-related-deaths (in the first three months of pregnancy) are linked to an ectopic pregnancy. Signs you will experience are vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain.
This article explains the causes, signs, and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy at 5 weeks.
What causes ectopic pregnancy at 5 weeks?
While it is believed that ectopic pregnancy results from a previous abortion, it’s not entirely accurate.
In fact, more than 30 percent of women that develop an ectopic pregnancy might not exactly have any recognizable cause. With that in mind, there are well-known causes of ectopic pregnancy. They are:
1. Tubal damage
The female reproductive tract is divided into the upper and lower parts.
The uterus (That functions to keep your baby during pregnancy) has ovaries on both sides connected by the fallopian tube.
The fallopian tube, also called the oviduct, is a 10-centimeter tube that plays important function during reproduction and its malfunction result to an ectopic pregnancy in women.
Within the fallopian tube are ciliated cells that aid the backward transport of the embryo (formed after fertilization of the male’s sperm and female egg) to the uterus for implantation.
Any damage to the fallopian tube may cause the embryo to be attached inside the fallopian tube and develop within the tube. This will result in an ectopic pregnancy.
Possible reason for a damaged tube is a pelvic inflammatory disease that occurs when untreated infections (chlamydia and gonorrhea) ascend upwards through the reproductive tracts and damage the epithelial lining and ciliated cells of the fallopian tubes
2. Tubal ligation
It common that women, especially those that are through with childbearing, take actions to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Usually, these actions could be birth control pills or subdermal implant attached to your arm.
However, some women may prefer the ligation of the fallopian tube to prevent sperm transport to the fallopian tube (where fertilization occurs). If this fail, it’s possible you may have an ectopic pregnancy.
Also, it’s possible you’ve changed your mind later on and asked your doctor to reverse a tubal ligation. This usually comes with a risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
Other risk factors for ectopic pregnancy at five weeks are infertility, tubal surgery in the past, use of intra-uterine devices. Maternal age is also being linked to ectopic pregnancy. Women that are more than 35 years having a higher chance of an ectopic pregnancy.
What are the symptoms and signs of ectopic pregnancy at 5 weeks pregnant?
Sign of an ectopic pregnancy differs from woman to woman. While some women will have classical signs of an ectopic pregnancy (vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain), others may have vague symptoms.
Usually, at the 4th or 5th week of gestation, most women will not have had signs of an ectopic pregnancy. As an ectopic pregnancy grows, it will rupture and bleed into the abdomen. On average, ectopic pregnancy ruptures from the 7th week of gestation.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are
1. Vaginal bleeding
Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom experienced by women who have an ectopic pregnancy. However, most women with a miscarriage in early pregnancy will also have vaginal bleeding.
The truth is, it’s difficult to tell if you are having a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. It’s best you inform your doctor as early as possible.
Then again, some women with an ectopic pregnancy will not have any bleeding at all. The onset of a sudden sharp pain radiating to your shoulders is a sign something is wrong with your pregnancy.
2. Abdominal pain
Pain in your abdomen can occur for a different reason when pregnant. Inflammation of the appendix, fallopian tube, ovarian torsion, and cyst may cause pregnant women to feel pain.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, you will feel pain too. Pain may be may be very severe sometimes, especially when an ectopic pregnancy breaks open the fallopian tube and bleed into the abdomen.
If this happens(ruptured ectopic pregnancy), you will notice any of these symptoms
- Sharp tummy pain
- Dizziness and fainting attack
- Shoulder pain
- Fast breathing
- Fast heart rate
If you are pregnant, these symptoms suggest something is wrong. Talk to your doctor immediately.
How is ectopic pregnancy diagnosed and treated at 5 weeks?
Ectopic pregnancy is quite common and occurs at a rate of 2 percent of pregnancies. If you’ve started having the above symptoms, it likely you may have an ectopic pregnancy.
One easy way to confirm is by notifying your doctor about how you feel. At 5- 6 weeks, it’s possible for your baby to be visualized with an ultrasound scan.
You doctor will quickly check if you baby is located within the uterus and your HCG hormone level.
After implantation (either within the uterus or in the fallopian tube), your body produces HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This hormone signifies you are pregnant.
If this hormone is present (and above 1500m IU/ml) and a transvaginal ultrasound cannot visualize your baby in-utero, it means you have an ectopic pregnancy.
Treatment follows immediately, and if there are no evidence of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, drugs like methotrexate injection are used with variable success rate.
However, a laparoscopic or open abdominal surgery may be performed if your doctor feels you are not stable. This requires a complete removal of the affected fallopian tube or repair of the damaged tube.
The truth is getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy may become quite difficult, and chances that another ectopic will occur is even higher. It’s important you see your doctor for all help you could get.