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Nine Months : Common Concerns in Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy/Tubal Pregnancy

What is it? In normal pregnancies, after the egg gets fertilised, it travels down the fallopian tubes and implants itself in the wall of the womb. However, in ectopic/tubal pregnancy, the fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb (normally in the fallopian tubes but rarely in abdominal cavity, ovary or cervix) instead of the womb wall itself. The growing embryo eventually runs out of blood supply and may cause the tube to rupture.

When? Ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated by the end of the eighth week of pregnancy, if not earlier.

Causes:

* Previous infection in fallopian tubes

* Pelvic inflammatory disease

* Damaged/blocked fallopian tubes

Symptoms:

* Severe abdominal pain (usually on one side and lower down)

* Shoulder pain

* Heavy vaginal bleeding or brown discharge

* Feeling faint/dizzy

Risk: Whether ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early or late, the embryo cannot survive. Sometimes, you may 'miscarry' the embryo without your knowledge. If diagnosed early, a drug can be given which helps the body to reabsorb the embryo, thus avoiding surgery. In cases where the fallopian tube has burst and there is internal bleeding, your life may be at risk, so immediate surgery is carried out to remove the embryo. Sometimes only the fallopian tube is removed while in extreme cases the entire ovary may be removed surgically. Although your fallopian tube and ovary may be healthy after the pregnancy, the chances of conception are somewhat reduced after an ectopic pregnancy.

Epilepsy

What is it? Epilepsy is the tendency to have fits (or convulsions or seizures) due to bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

In pregnancy: If you are epileptic and are planning a pregnancy, it is a good idea to consult the doctor as your medication may need to be changed or the dosage adjusted. This is because certain epileptic medicines may have an undesirable effect on the unborn baby, especially in the first 3 months. Also, the doctor may need to prescribe some additional supplements for you. If your pregnancy was unplanned and you are epileptic, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Epilepsy is not inherited and you should not worry that your baby may be born with it.

Remember never to stop taking your medicine for epilepsy without consulting your doctor. Having a fit can be more dangerous for your baby than the actual medicine itself.






               

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