In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants inside the uterine cavity. Fertilization (sperm-egg fusion) occurs in the fallopian tube after which the fertilized egg moves to the uterus, where the fetus will develop.
However, the fertilized egg may not get to the uterus, having stayed behind (for one reason or the other) in one of the fallopian tubes (as occurs in 95 percent of ectopic pregnancy cases). Sometimes (very rarely), pregnancy develops in the free abdominal cavity or ovary.
This pathological condition is caused by changes in the structure of the fallopian tube due to which the fertilized egg finds it hard to get to the uterus. Earlier infections of the uterus, uterine appendages or bladder are among the main causes of such changes. Congenital abnormalities in the structure of the fallopian tubes, benign tumors of the fallopian tube, surgery on the fallopian tubes, adhesions in the pelvis, endometritis (inflammation of the lining of the uterus), abortion, and hormonal disorders can all lead to ectopic pregnancy. These factors narrow the lumen of the fallopian tube and change its peristalsis, thus impairing its passability.
According to some experts, ectopic pregnancy may be a consequence of the use of loop as a contraceptive method.
At first, like a normal pregnancy: delayed menstruation, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, breast engorgement. There may be occasional weak dragging pains in the lower abdomen. However, these pains attract little attention and that is why doctors rarely detect non-complicated ectopic (or rather tubal) pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is terminated usually at the 4th to 6th week, and this process can proceed in different ways. Sometimes there is the so-called tubal abortion where the fetal tissues peel off from the place they are attached on the wall of the fallopian tube. Fetal tissues may either remain in the fallopian tube, or move to the abdominal cavity, as the pregnancy is terminated. Tubal abortion often lasts several weeks.
Ectopic pregnancy disorder proceeds in quite a different way. It is the situation where the wall of the fallopian tube – unable to bear the load – ruptures. Here, the symptoms are so pronounced that they simply cannot be overlooked. Some of them are severe pain in the lower abdomen, accompanied by weakness, pallor, increased sweating, and sometimes unconsciousness. Rupturing of the fallopian tube leads to a massive life-threatening internal bleeding.