Ectopic pregnancy

What's the scoop?

 

An ectopic pregnancy happens when the woman's egg is fertilized by sperm and a baby starts to develop outside of the uterus (where it normally should be).

 

This usually happens in the fallopian tubes, which is a tube the egg travels through from the ovary to the uterus. Sometimes an ectopic pregnancy can occur in other parts of the body, but this is less common.

 

How will I know if I have an ectopic pregnancy?

 

At the beginning of an ectopic pregnancy the woman might have all the same signs of a normal pregnancy such as a missed period, breast soreness, morning sickness, and even a positive pregnancy test, however the fertilized egg will never grow into a baby.

The pregnancy unfortunately has no way of surviving, and it is important to have the fertilized egg removed as soon as possible to avoid serious health risks for the woman.

 

What are the signs?

 

There are some warning signs for an ectopic pregnancy that indicate that you should seek immediate help. These warning signs might first be light vaginal bleeding and pain in the lower tummy, and if the tube has ruptured, you might feel dizzy or faint, have shoulder pain and intense tummy pain, feel the need to have a bowel movement and appear very pale.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

If the tube has ruptured, it can be life threatening, however it can be treated quickly and safely by having emergency surgery to remove the fallopian tube and ovary as well as any surrounding blood.

 

Treating an ectopic pregnancy that hasn't ruptured might include the following:

  • careful monitoring to see if the egg dissolves on its own
  • an injection of medication to stop the pregnancy from growing any further
  • non-invasive (known as keyhole or laprascopic) surgery to remove the fertilized egg and affected area

 

It's important to know that you can still get pregnant in the future after an ectopic pregnancy.

 

If you have had a fallopian tube and ovary removed because of a previous ectopic pregnancy, you will still be able to get pregnant from the other ovary and corresponding fallopian tube connected to your uterus.

 

What's the scoop?

 

An ectopic pregnancy happens when the woman's egg is fertilized by sperm and a baby starts to develop outside of the uterus (where it normally should be).

 

This usually happens in the fallopian tubes, which is a tube the egg travels through from the ovary to the uterus. Sometimes an ectopic pregnancy can occur in other parts of the body, but this is less common.

 

How will I know if I have an ectopic pregnancy?

 

At the beginning of an ectopic pregnancy the woman might have all the same signs of a normal pregnancy such as a missed period, breast soreness, morning sickness, and even a positive pregnancy test, however the fertilized egg will never grow into a baby.

Ectopic pregnancy

The pregnancy unfortunately has no way of surviving, and it is important to have the fertilized egg removed as soon as possible to avoid serious health risks for the woman.

 

What are the signs?

 

There are some warning signs for an ectopic pregnancy that indicate that you should seek immediate help. These warning signs might first be light vaginal bleeding and pain in the lower tummy, and if the tube has ruptured, you might feel dizzy or faint, have shoulder pain and intense tummy pain, feel the need to have a bowel movement and appear very pale.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

If the tube has ruptured, it can be life threatening, however it can be treated quickly and safely by having emergency surgery to remove the fallopian tube and ovary as well as any surrounding blood.

 

Treating an ectopic pregnancy that hasn't ruptured might include the following:

  • careful monitoring to see if the egg dissolves on its own
  • an injection of medication to stop the pregnancy from growing any further
  • non-invasive (known as keyhole or laprascopic) surgery to remove the fertilized egg and affected area

 

It's important to know that you can still get pregnant in the future after an ectopic pregnancy.

 

If you have had a fallopian tube and ovary removed because of a previous ectopic pregnancy, you will still be able to get pregnant from the other ovary and corresponding fallopian tube connected to your uterus.

 

Symptom list:

Ectopic pregnancy