Ectopic Pregnancy - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

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Our medical malpractice lawyers deal with Ectopic Pregnancy negligence cases. If you would like legal advice at no cost and with no further obligation just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices. Our Ectopic Pregnancy medical malpractice lawyers usually deal with personal injury compensation cases on a contingency basis which means that you only pay legal fees if our medical malpractice lawyer wins the case and you are awarded compensation.

Ectopic Pregnancy - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Our ectopic pregnancy medical malpractice lawyers are well versed in these issues and if, after reading this overview, you believe that you have been the victim of clinical negligence do not hesitate to make contact - there are time limits.

Ectopic pregnancies are tragic complications of pregnancies. Any time a pregnancy does not end up within the uterus it is called ectopic. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube but they can also occur within the pelvic structures or abdominal structures, although the latter two are rare. In abdominal pregnancies, the fetus attaches to the omentum, the bowel or the abdominal wall itself. These are very dangerous pregnancies. If the pregnancy happens in the fallopian tube, there is no room for the pregnancy to grow and the zygote breaks through the fallopian tube, rupturing it and causing life threatening bleeding.

In an ectopic pregnancy developing in the tube, the female often begins to feel pain on the affected side of the pelvis. Small amounts of vaginal bleeding can occur. The pain intensifies and briefly passes as the fallopian tube ruptured. Then the internal bleeding begins and the pain starts up again. The bleeding can be brisk and there can be shock and death within a few hours of the rupture.

You cannot save an ectopic pregnancy. It cannot safely attach and grow to a proper size unless it attaches to a part of the abdomen. Even then it is very dangerous to have an abdominal ectopic pregnancy. Both the foetus and the mother are in danger of death or disability.

If the ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube, it can result in a complete loss of the fallopian tube on the side of the pregnancy. If caught early enough, the ectopic pregnancy can be removed and the tube can be closed up again. This fallopian tube can be used again for further pregnancies.

Risk factors for getting an ectopic pregnancy involve being a smoker, Chlamydia infections, endometriosis, gonorrheae infections or being exposed to DES before birth. DES exposure is rare now that it was banned in the early 1970s. You can have previous surgery that increases the risk of getting an ectopic pregnancy as can fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization.

The first sign of an ectopic pregnancy is a missed pregnancy and a positive pregnancy test. At first the pregnancy feels normal with tiredness, painful breasts and nausea. Within a few weeks, however, left or right sided abdominal pain begins to occur and spreads across the abdomen. There is often vaginal bleeding because the fallopian tube is irritated. When the tube ruptures, there can be worsened vaginal bleeding or no worse vaginal bleeding. The bleeding can be nearly entirely internal and can be very dangerous. The woman needs to have immediate treatment of the vaginal bleeding so that they don't die from internal bleeding.

The treatment of ectopic pregnancy involves an emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and get rid of the ectopic pregnancy products. The surgery takes about an hour or so and attempts are made to save the fallopian tube if at all possible. If the fallopian tube is too damaged, it is removed and the woman is left with one fallopian tube. If the pregnancy is caught early enough, then medications are used to get rid of the pregnancy and save the tube. Methotrexate injections can be given so that the pregnancy "dissolves" and is expelled through the uterus. The tube is often saved in such circumstances. If the pregnancy has gone on for too many weeks, a laparoscopic surgery can be done to remove the products of conception and to suture the fallopian tube closed.

Ectopic pregnancies can be very depressing to the couple. They may need therapy to get rid of feelings of guilt and depression, and antidepressants can be used. The couple can begin to try and get pregnant again when the surgery has healed, after about six weeks.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here