Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in pregnancy (SHiP) is a rare life-threatening event previously associated with endometriosis. Although pregnancy is thought to improve the symptoms of endometriosis, abrupt intraperitoneal bleeding can occur, jeopardizing both maternal and fetal outcomes.
The aim of this study was to review the published information regarding SHiP pathophysiology, presentation, diagnosis, and management in a flowchart approach.
A descriptive review of published articles in the English-language was carried out.
SHiP most commonly presents in the second half of pregnancy with a combination of abdominal pain, hypovolemia, a decline in hemoglobin level, and fetal distress. Nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms are not uncommon. Surgical management is suitable in most scenarios and avoids complications such as recurrent bleeding and infected hematoma. Maternal outcome has improved greatly, whereas perinatal mortality remained unchanged. In addition to physical strain, SHiP was reported to have a psychosocial sequela.
Conclusions and Relevance
A high index of suspicion is required when patients present with acute abdominal pain and signs of hypovolemia. Early use of sonography contributes to narrowing down the diagnosis. Health care providers should be familiar with the SHiP diagnosis because early identification is crucial when attempting to safeguard maternal and fetal outcomes. Maternal and fetal requirements are often contradictory, creating a greater challenge in decision-making and treatment. A multidisciplinary team approach should coordinate the treatment, whenever a SHiP diagnosis is suspected.
Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians.
After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to identify SHiP symptoms and contributing factors; propose recommendations for diagnosis and differential diagnosis; and describe the treatment options, emphasizing multidisciplinary approach.