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Rise in ectopic pregnancies, ovarian cysts worries medics

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Women of reproductive age are facing increasing threats of ectopic pregnancies and ovarian cysts amid very little awareness and information about the two medical conditions.

Doctors have explained that an ectopic pregnancy also known as tubal pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants in an area outside of the uterus, typically in one of the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can cause a fallopian tube to burst open and without treatment, the ruptured tube can lead to life-threatening bleeding.

Meanwhile, an ovarian cyst is a solid or fluid-filled sac within or on the surface of an ovary. Medical experts assert that ovarian cysts are common during early pregnancy and as the pregnancy continues to grow, the presence of cysts can pose possible problems to a mother throughout her pregnancy period.

While there are not easily available statistics about the two conditions from across a spectrum of both government and private aided facilities, public health specialists have affirmed encountering increasing mothers with such conditions.

Brenda Atim, a mother of one who was operated on in February this year from Victory Medical Centre in Gulu to remove a cyst that had overgrown and on the verge of rupturing, says she endured severe pain until she sought an operation that cost her 1.6 million Shillings. She still lost the pregnancy days after the operation.

In January, Hope Acan, another mother had a miscarriage which according to medics was caused by the presence of a cyst. She disclosed that her pregnancy ruptured and later doctors operated on her to remove a cyst costing her 5.9 million Shillings in surgery.

Acan, a mother of two children explains that she endured recurring abdominal pain that would hinder her from walking, sitting, sleeping, and doing other house chores before doctors at Kampala International Hospital diagnosed her with a cyst condition.

Dr Felix Emotu, a medical doctor and public health specialist explains that since 2020, he has superintended over 15 cases of tubal pregnancies and cysts that required major surgery. He attributed the cysts to risk factors such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), fertility treatments to stimulate ovulation abnormality of the fallopian and pelvic inflammatory diseases among others.

Dr Emotu also linked tubal pregnancy to previous medical conditions of a person, surgery, hormonal factors, genetic abnormalities and birth defects among others. He implored women to seek regular medical checkups because if not detected in time, it can cause severe complications in the mother and can even kill her.

Dr Emotu further notes that treating a cyst can be expensive to ordinary families depending on where they choose to seek services. He also pointed out that there are no measures of preventing it but one can decrease the risk by limiting the number of sexual partners.

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