If you ever feel like something is going on with your health, you should listen to your body and be your own health advocate. Your doctor may or may not agree with your self-diagnosis, but speaking up could save your life - as demonstrated by one Reddit user. In a post that is going viral, a woman explains that because her gynaecologist listened to her when she believed she was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, it probably saved her life.
“I was betrayed by my IUD for the last 6 weeks or so and the embryo was trying to grow in my fallopian tube unbeknownst to me,” wrote reddit user u/ddsbreakfast18. “Yesterday I woke up with pain on my right side and I had some spotting so it could have been dismissed as period pain or cramping. I decided to visit the doctor because thanks to previous emt training I knew ectopic pregnancies were a thing.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, an ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilised egg implants and grows outside of the uterus - usually in a fallopian tube or sometimes in the ovary, abdominal cavity or in the cervix - instead of in the lining. It isn’t a viable pregnancy, because the fertilised egg can’t survive. But even scarier is that the growing tissue can cause life-threatening bleeding if it isn’t treated.
While there may be no symptoms, some women will experience early pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, a missed period, or nausea. As the fertilised egg grows, symptoms such as pelvic pain and light bleeding may occur. If blood begins leaking from the fallopian tube, more extreme symptoms may occur, such as increased abdominal pain, urges to take bowel movements, or pelvic discomfort. Even worse, if the egg continues growing inside the fallopian tube, it can become life-threatening and rupture the fallopian tubes. In this case, heavy bleeding inside of the abdomen is likely and symptoms include lightheadedness, fainting, severe abdominal pain, and shock.
She explained that her gynaecologist actually listened to her when she presented the idea, and although she thought it was appendicitis she administered a pregnancy test just in case. “Thanks to her immediately recognising the situation and sending me to the hospital I was able to have the surgery I needed to not die of internal bleeding,” she wrote.
She wanted to share her experience not only as a warning about ectopic pregnancies, but also as a reminder that not all doctors are dismissive about the symptoms patients report. “Side note that I'm pissed about my IUD only lasting me 9 months and that I was the one in a million or whatever one to have this happen to me,” she concluded.
Many people weighed in on the post, some sharing their own similar health situations and others, scary stories about friends and family that weren’t so fortunate.
“My friend just died from an ectopic pregnancy,” wrote badchoices40. “The hospital missed it and sent her home even though she told them she was pregnant. She said she was feeling strange and her legs were swollen. They did an ultrasound on her legs but not the pregnancy. I still don’t understand why they didn’t check the baby. It was so heartbreaking. I’m glad they listened and saved you. There should be more awareness of how serious it is to get help quickly.”
Always listen to your body - and tell your doctor what you think is going on. The worst that can happen is that you are wrong, but if you are right, it could save your life!