Ectopic pregnancies, which develop outside the uterus, can go undiagnosed until they turn into a grave emergency relatively easily, because they don't always have clear symptoms. Ectopic pregnancies, also sometimes known as tubal pregnancies, can cause a woman's fallopian tubes to rupture and are life-threatening. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable, sadly. What's more, it is not at all uncommon for a woman to need her fallopian tubes completely removed after suffering an ectopic pregnancy, rendering her infertile. Early diagnosis is key to saving a woman's fertility.
That is why the fact that a new blood test is being develop to detect ectopic pregnancies more easily is such great news! Ectopic pregnancy symptoms can include bleeding, dizziness, and abdominal pain (often extreme), but the woman is often already in immediate danger when these symptoms come to light. The earlier the ectopic pregnancy is confirmed, the better the chances that the woman's life, and her fertility, can be saved. The new blood test is being worked on by a team of scientists from Pennsylvania. They say that the new test, which will check for four essential proteins in the maternal blood, will provide instant results. But the concept is still being developed and this test will not appear on the market for a while yet.
The team studied 200 women, half of which with normal pregnancies and half of which who suffered ectopic pregnancies, to determine the differences in their blood, and the results have been extremely promising so far. Scientists found that they could determine whether a woman had a normal pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy with 99 percent accuracy. If their efforts are successful and an ectopic pregnancy test appears on the market, it could save many fallopian tubes and offer many more women who had a prior ectopic pregnancy to still become mothers. According to the lead researcher, Dr Mary Rausch, the development of the ectopic pregnancy test will take the team two to five years yet, but it is already offering hope!