A woman's pregnancy caused serious complication when she complained of stomach ache that was missed during her previous ultrasound tests. Doctors found the 32-week-old fetus developing outside the woman's uterus and within her abdomen.
When doctors found the abdominal pregnancy, they immediately operated the woman and found the live fetus in her abdominal cavity, without the amniotic sac which provides nourishment to the fetus. The woman delivered healthy baby girl and was released from the hospital in good condition, researchers in Tanzania said.
Abdominal pregnancies are uncommon. But usually go unnoticed in the ultrasound as the pregnancy appears normal in an ultrasound test, according to researchers. An unnoticed abdominal pregnancy may be a threat to the mother's life and can cause severe bleeding.
"I've seen maybe four or five abdominal pregnancies over the course of 25 years," said Jill Rabin, Chief of Ambulatory Care, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York, who was not directly involved with the case.
Some symptoms of abdominal pregnancy include gastrointestinal problems and painful fetal movements, explained Rabin.
If fetus is found growing outside the uterus, doctors make an incision in the mother's abdomen in order to deliver the baby. The placenta is usually left for the body to absorb as removing the placenta may cause heavy bleeding.
"The placenta is attached to something vascular, so the baby is getting fed from the mother's blood supply, just not in the way that we would like, so many of these babies are very small," Rabin added.
The embryo is usually removed by doctors, if abdominal pregnancy is detected in the first trimester. However, in most cases it is not diagnosed until labor pain. "If it's diagnosed in the second trimester, you watch the mother very carefully, but every case is different," Rabin said.
(Edited by Anu James)