Everything You Should Know about Ectopic Pregnancy

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?


From fertilization to delivery, pregnancy requires a complete chain process in a woman’s body. The one-step of this chain is when a fertilized egg travels to the uterus to attach itself. In an ectopic pregnancy which is also known as extrauterine pregnancy, the fertilized egg doesn’t fix to the uterus. Instead, it may attach to the somewhere else in the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity, or cervix.


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A pregnancy test is enough to reveal that a woman is pregnant, but a fertilized egg can’t properly grow anywhere else other than the uterus. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), usually ectopic pregnancies occur in about 1 out of every 50 pregnancies (20 out of 1,000).


An ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is required to reduce the risk of its and increases the chances for future healthy pregnancies, and reduces health complications.


What are the Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy?


The most common symptoms of this are Nausea and breast soreness. The given symptoms are common and can be a medical emergency:


  • Sharp waves of pain in the pelvis, abdomen, shoulder, or neck


  • Severe pain on one side of the abdomen


  • Light to heavy vaginal bleeding


  • Dizziness or fainting


  • Rectal pressure


Who is at Risk for an Ectopic Pregnancy?


Usually, sexually active women are at some risk for an ectopic pregnancy. Risk factors increase with any of the following:


  • Maternal age above than 35


  • Pelvic surgery or abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions


  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)


  • Endometriosis


  • Conception occurred despite tubal ligation


  • Conception aided by fertility drugs or procedures



  • Past ectopic pregnancy


  • History of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)


  • Having structural abnormalities in the fallopian tubes that make difficult for the egg to travel


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What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?


The causes of this aren’t clear. Following conditions have been linked with an ectopic pregnancy:



  • Inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes


  • Hormonal factors


  • Genetic abnormalities


  • Birth defects


  • Medical conditions that affect the shape and condition of the fallopian tubes


How To Treat an Ectopic Pregnancy?


Ectopic pregnancies can be dangerous for the mother. Also, the fetus won’t be able to develop to term. It became necessary to remove the embryo immediately for the wellness of the mother’s health and long-term fertility. Treatment procedure varies depending on the location of the pregnancy and its growth.




Your doctor may decide that immediate complications are not very risky. In that case, your doctor can prescribe some medications that could keep the ectopic mass from rupturing.




Many doctors suggest to remove the embryo and repair any internal damage. This process is known as a laparotomy. Your doctor will insert a small camera through a small opening to make sure they can see their process. The surgeon then removes the embryo from the fallopian tube and repairs any damage occurs to the fallopian tube.



Pregnancy can be the good news for anyone, but when it comes to ectopic pregnancy it becomes the cause of worry. It can be dangerous and life-threatening. if you find any of the above symptoms then consult your doctor as soon as possible, and follow the instruction of your doctor.


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