Know the Causes and Treatment for Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 05, 2013
Quick Bites

  • An ectopic pregnancy is marked by the embryo getting placed outside the uterus.
  • This exerts pressure on the fallopian tube causing it to rupture.
  • Pelvic infection, narrow fallopian tubes and sterilization can be a cause for such pregnancy.
  • Though, loss of fetus can’t be prevented, mother’s life can be saved.

Loss of a pregnancy not only brings grief with it, but also health problems. One has to take special care during pregnancy and should not ignore even a minor problem. One common problem during pregnancy is vaginal bleeding, leading to abortion and many a times death of the pregnant woman.

causes of ruptured ectopic pregnancyVaginal bleeding occurs due to various reasons, and one such is ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic means outside, therefore pregnancy which takes place outside the uterus is termed as ectopic pregnancy. Most of the time it takes place in fallopian tube (very fine tubes lined with ciliated epithelia tissue, leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus).

First let’s be clear with what ruptured ectopic pregnancy actually means-it is the fallopian tube which gets ruptured. With the passage of time, the size of zygote increases. This exerts pressure on the fallopian tube, and in some cases the size of zygote increases more than the fallopian tube leading to its rupture.

In reality, ruptured ectopic pregnancy is an advanced stage of ectopic pregnancy, hence the cause behind both of them are very much similar. Some of the common causes as given by C health are:

  • Infection in the pelvic region- Women who have suffered from infection in the pelvic region are more prone to ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
  • Narrow fallopian tubes- Some women have narrow fallopian tube by birth and this may become a problem for them.
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy- Pregnant women who have faced this problem in earlier pregnancies are more prone to this problem.
  • Sterilization- In this process, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked and can lead to ectopic pregnancy.
  • Birth control pills- Some birth control pills have been linked with ectopic pregnancy.
  • Intrauterine devices- Women who use IUD, that too especially those containing progesterone are more prone to ectopic pregnancy.
  • Medication done using diethylstilbestrol- Some women are exposed to this synthetic estrogen in their mother’s womb. Later on they have higher risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • Multiple sexual partners- This is also considered as one of the causes behind ectopic pregnancy.
  • Cigarette Smoking

Ectopic pregnancy gets neglected in the early stage because of its common problems like pain in abdomen, amenorrhea and shoulder pain. But after sometime, the pregnancy may rupture, leading to hemorrhage. In such situations, patient should immediately be rushed to the hospital. Other aids which can be provided include:

It is evident that there is no way to save the baby in case of ruptured ectopic pregnancy. But there are treatments to save the life of the pregnant woman with following ways:

Active monitoring

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone of patient could be checked on regular intervals through blood tests. A rise in hCG level may require additional treatment which is normally found in 33 percent of the cases. But many a times there is risk that fallopian tubes may rupture even if there are low levels of hCG hormone in blood. In some cases doctors suggest for ultrasound to check the growth in pregnancy.


If ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed in its early stage, doctors suggest methotrexate to stop the growth of the embryo cells. However, these medicines are suitable in case of egg smaller than the diameter of 3.5cms. After intake of methotrexate the patient needs to go for regular blood test to check hCG level.

There are several side effects attached to this drug such as abdominal pain, dizziness, diarrhoea, mouth ulcer and feeling sick. During the intake of methotrexate it is advisable to avoid alcohol. Patients are also suggested to use contraceptive pills for a period of three to six months to avoid development of problems related to next pregnancy.


It is the most recommended treatment in case of ruptured ectopic pregnancy, incase other medication do not work. Most of the time keyhole surgery is done, using a tiny camera and surgical instruments. These are inserted inside the stomach through a tiny hole.

After the loss of pregnancy, many women feel lonely and depressed. Also they are more prone to this problem in their next pregnancy. Thus under taking treatment or surgery does not bring an end to their problem. They should take the following precautions:

  • Go for counseling
  • Ask their doctor about its impact on the next pregnancy.
  • Plan about when to go for next pregnancy.
  • In case of removal or damage of fallopian tubes, get to know about other options available.


Read more articles on Pregnancy.

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