Ectopic pregnancy, go to a&e or not?


Q: I went to the hospital yesterday as I am 5 weeks pregnant, however after two scans and an internal scan no baby could be found, they have told me I'm at high risk of it being a ectopic pregnancy, they said to me come to a&e within the next 48 hours if you have any pain, well I'm now experiencing pain in the left side of my lower abdomen it's a sharp pain which comes and goes, should i go back to the hospital or not? I'm 16 years old!

Symptoms:  Left lower abdomen pain, lower back pain, headache

A:   Ectopic pregnancy is basically a pregnancy that is growing at an abnormal site (ectopic: meaning not in the womb). A tubal ectopic means the baby is growing in the tubes and not in the womb.
In any ectopic pregnancy, there is a very high chance of internal bleeding and rupture from that site. They pose a significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenge and carry a great maternal mortality risk and need to be treated carefully.
Significant maternal internal haemorrhage leading to shock can rapidly result from rupture of the ectopic.
The treatment of the same can be medical or surgical depending upon a lot of parameters. Medical management is done with methotrexate injections and surgical management is done either by laparoscopy or open methods. Surgical methods involve excision of the part of the tube and uterus in which the pregnancy is growing and this may sometimes involve loss of function of that tube.
In any case, if there is evidence of a ectopic then one must not take it lightly and follow your doctors instructions thoroughly. Intermittent pain on and off can mean that there is some amount of bleeding in the abdomen and could even signal an impending rupture. Visit the emergency room or call your doctors/ medical help immediately.

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