Menstruation and ectopic pregnancy

Menstruation and ectopic pregnancy

First, we want to clarify that pregnancy and menstruation do not go hand in hand. When pregnancy occurs, the period disappears. In the case that it happens, we would not be talking about menstruation but vaginal bleeding.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

When a fertilized egg attaches and grows outside the cavity of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes, that’s when we talk about ectopic pregnancy. 

This type of pregnancy cannot be carried to term and if it is not treated in time it can be very dangerous for the woman.

The fallopian tubes are the tubes through which the eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus, other places where the embryo can be implanted would be the ovaries, the abdominal cavity, or the cervix.


Bleeding during pregnancy is not menstruation

When we know the process that occurs during fertilization until a pregnancy is achieved, we know that any bleeding would be vaginal bleeding and not normal menstruation, so we must be very attentive to these events.

In general, when an ectopic pregnancy occurs, since the embryo cannot survive, it can produce abundant bleeding with a lot of abdominal and pelvic pain. It is also very important to know that if it were to grow inside the tubes, for example, it could cause tubal rupture.

It is important to consider that when a pregnancy is suspected, the best thing to do is to rule it out immediately and if it is positive, to attend prenatal check-ups immediately. An ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented and the consequences can be devastating if not treated in time.

You may not know you are pregnant

Nature is wise and when a pregnancy occurs, the body stops menstruating immediately, but you may be pregnant and you do not know it yet. If it is an ectopic pregnancy is likely to suffer heavy bleeding accompanied by severe pain.

Factors that can influence the occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy

  • Pelvic inflammation or infection. These so-called sexually transmitted infections can inflame the uterine tract and nearby organs which increases the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Fertility treatments. Infertility itself may cause the risk of ectopic pregnancy, women undergoing these treatments are at risk for ectopic pregnancy.
  • Tubal ligation. It is a method that many women opt for because it is permanent, but if there is no proper care after the procedure you can also get pregnant and it is an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Tubal correction surgeries. When these are closed or damaged and surgery is performed to correct them, the risk of ectopic pregnancy also increases.

Some recommendations

As we said before it is not possible to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but we can take certain measures to help in these cases:

  • If you are doubting pregnancy and bleeding occurs, avoid using tampons, period panties, and ecological pads are kinder options.
  • If you are not planning to get pregnant, never forget to use condoms during sexual intercourse or any contraceptive method such as intrauterine devices.
  • Remember to visit your gynecologist regularly for routine check-ups.

What to do in an emergency?

Some signs of an ectopic pregnancy may be:

  • Intense abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Fainting.
  • Shoulder pain.
  • Before a symptom of this magnitude, the ideal is to go immediately to the emergency room, this type of bleeding can endanger your life, and the integrity of any of the uterine organs, representing a potential danger.

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