Cannabis Use Linked to Ectopic Pregnancy

Giving up smoking weed has immediate benefits for pregnant women, improving the health of both the mother and the child they are carrying. Harmful gases such as carbon monoxide will clear from the body quickly, but it is important to bear in mind that smoking can cause problems from conception.

pregnant woman

According to the NHS Choices website, Women who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to develop an ectopic pregnancy in comparison to non-smokers. Further research has shown that smoking Marijuana has potentially damaging implications for Women.

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Instead of developing within the womb as normal, an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants elsewhere; often within the fallopian tubes. The consequences being, that the egg will not develop as normal, with potentially devastating psychological and physical effects to the mother.

What are the Symptoms?

Ectopic pregnancies are notoriously difficult to diagnose as symptoms vary from woman to woman. In some instances women display no symptoms at all. However, where symptoms are present, they can be similar to those of gastroenteritis, appendicitis or miscarriage; resulting in a medical professional making a misdiagnosis on that basis.

Unfortunately, the most common symptoms are considered typical of a normal pregnancy. Feeling nauseous, breast tenderness, a cease to regular periods, needing to pass urine more frequently and feeling unusually tired are all to be expected when a woman is with child. It is unlikely these afflictions would be considered a cause for concern in an expectant mother, resulting in a delay in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy.

There are various symptoms, distinct from the norm, considered to be indicators; often appearing between weeks five and fourteen of the pregnancy. These symptoms include very dark vaginal bleeding, bowel pain, persistent diarrhoea and vomiting. Although rare, sufferers of an ectopic pregnancy can also experience a very distinctive pain, coined as ‘Shoulder Tip Pain.’ Distinct from day to day shoulder aches and pains located in muscles of the back and neck, ‘Shoulder Tip Pain’ is felt where the woman’s shoulder ends and her arm begins.

It is important to bear in mind that if you suspect you are suffering from an ectopic pregnancy, you should seek urgent medical treatment. The consequences of a rupture can be far reaching, with risks associated with future health and fertility.

How is Cannabis Linked to Ectopic Pregnancies?

Research from Professor Sudhansu Dey and his colleagues from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found that there are significant adverse effects from the maternal use of marijuana, which can take effect from as early as conception.

In light of those results, Professor Dev made the following statement –

“Our present findings have high clinical importance, since embryo retention in the fallopian tube is a significant cause of ectopic pregnancy in women, the incidence of which has markedly increased during the past decade.”

I think the effect should not be permanent but smoking marijuana interferes with early pregnancy, even before fertilisation.”

While many people are aware of the effect cannabis has on men’s fertility, it is clear that there are equally worrying implications for women. Looking at the effects on fertility, conception and pregnancy, it is crucial for women to bear these factors in mind and give up smoking.

Author box: At Asons Solicitors we deal with a wide variety of Medical Negligence cases ranging from pressure sores and negligent treatment, through to misdiagnosis and ectopic pregnancies. If you’ve been affected by poor medical treatment, contact us today. www.asons.co.uk

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