What is an Ectopic Pregnancy? Or Ectopic pregnancy meaning

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. It is the basic ectopic pregnancy meaning

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Almost all ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube and are thus sometimes called tubal pregnancies.  

The fallopian tubes are not designed to hold a growing embryo;

 Thus, the fertilized egg in a tubal pregnancy cannot develop properly and must be treated. 

An ectopic pregnancy happens in 1 out of 50 pregnancies.  

Ectopic pregnancy causes?

If we wants to know what causes an ectopic pregnancy?  Then the answer is Ectopic pregnancies are caused by one or more of the following: 

  • An infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube can cause it to become partially or entirely blocked.

  • Scar tissue from a previous infection ora surgical procedure on the tube may also impede the egg’s movement.

  • Previous surgery in the pelvic area or on the tubes can cause adhesions. 

  • Abnormal growths or a birth defect can result in an abnormality in the tube’s shape. 

ectopic pregnancy pain location

ectopic pregnancy pain location

 might be  pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder or neck . The pain can range from mild, dull to severe and sharp.

Who is at risk for having an ectopic pregnancy? 

Risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy include the following: 

  • Maternal age of 35-44 years 

  • Previous ectopic pregnancy 

  • Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery 

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

  • Several induced abortions. 

  • Conceiving after having a tubal ligation oriole an IUD is in place 

  • Smoking Endometriosis Undergoing fertility treatments or are using fertility medications.

Normal pregnancy vs Ectopic pregnancy

For pregnancy to happen, the ovary has to release an egg into the fallopian tube, where it stays for about 24 hours. There it has to come in contact with a sperm to be fertilized. The fertilized egg stays in the fallopian tube for 3 or 4 days before it heads to the uterus. There it attaches to the lining and continues to grow until a baby is born. But if the fertilized egg implants in your fallopian tube or somewhere else in your abdomen, you end up with what’s called an ectopic pregnancy. 

In these cases, the pregnancy can’t continue normally, and it requires emergency treatment. 

When ectopic pregnancy symptoms start and What are the ectopic pregnancy symptoms

Although you may experience typical signs and symptoms of pregnancy, 

the following symptoms may be used to help recognize a potential ectopic pregnancy: 

  • Sharp or stabbing pain that may come and go and vary in intensity. (The pain may be in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder and neck due to blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy gathering up under the diaphragm). 

  • Vaginal bleeding, heavier or lighter than your normal period 

  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms Weakness, dizziness, or fainting 

It is important to contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing sharp pain that lasts more than a few minutes or if you have bleeding. 

You should immediate contact your doctor and seek immediate treatment if you know you’re pregnant and you have any of these ectopic pregnancy symptoms

ectopic pregnancy test , how to test ectopic pregnancy

The first step of the ectopic pregnancy test is the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy.The second step is a pregnancy test it may be a qualitative (positive or negative for pregnancy) or quantitative (measures hormone levels)  test. Sometimes, doctor may feel a tender mass during the pelvic examination. If an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, then both of blood hormone pregnancy tests and 
pelvic ultrasound usually help to establish the diagnosis. The most useful ectopic pregnancy test is Transvaginal ultrasound. In this  ectopic pregnancy test, ultrasound  ,ectopic pregnancy ultrasound probe is inserted into vagina, and pelvic images are visible on a computer monitor. It can reveal the gestational sac in either a normal (intrauterine) pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy. Often the findings are not conclusive. This examination may simply reveal a mass in the area of the Fallopian tubes or elsewhere. Its suggestive of, but not conclusive for, an ectopic pregnancy. The ultrasound  ectopic pregnancy ultrasound can also demonstrate that there is no pregnancy within the uterus.

How Is An Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed? 

Ectopic pregnancies are diagnosed by your physician, who will probably first Perform pelvic exam to locate pain, tenderness, or a mass in the abdomen. Your physician will also use an ultrasound (ectopic pregnancy ultrasound) to determine whether the uterus contains a developing fetus. The measurement of hCG levels is also important. An hCG level that is lower than expected is one reason to suspect an ectopic pregnancy. Your doctor may also test your progesterone levels because low levels could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. In addition, your physician may do a culdo-centesis, which is a procedure that involves inserting a needle into a space at the very top of the vagina, behind the uterus and in front of the rectum. The presence of blood in this area may indicate bleeding from a ruptured fallopian tube. 

How Is An Ectopic Pregnancy Treated? Or ectopic pregnancy treatment

An ectopic pregnancy may be treated in any of the following ways: 

  • ectopic pregnancy treatment methotrexate

Methotrexate may be given, which allows the body to absorb the pregnancy tissue and may save the fallopian tube, depending on how far the pregnancy has progressed. 

  • If the tube has become stretched or has ruptured and started bleeding, part or all of it May have to be removed. 

ectopic pregnancy surgery

  • In this case, bleeding needs to be stopped promptly, and emergency surgery is necessary. 

  • Laparoscopic surgery (ectopic pregnancy surgery) under general anesthesia maybe performed. 

  • This procedure involves a surgeon using a laparoscope to remove the ectopic pregnancy and repair or remove the affected fallopian tube.

  •  If the ectopic pregnancy cannot be removed by a laparoscopic ally, another surgical procedure called a laparotomy (ectopic pregnancy surgery) may be done. 

What about my future After Ectopic Pregnancy? 

Your hCG level will need to be rechecked on a regular basis until it reaches zero, if you did not have your entire fallopian tube removed.  

An hCG level that remains high could indicate that the ectopic tissue was not entirely removed, which would require surgery, ectopic pregnancy surgery or medical management with methotrexate. 

The chances of having a successful pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy may be reduced, but this will depend on why the pregnancy was ectopic and your medical history.


If the fallopian tubes have been left in place, you have approximately 60% chance of having a successful pregnancy in the future. 

There is a good chance you can have a normal pregnancy again, but it might be hard. You should consider talking to a fertility specialist early, especially if you had a fallopian tube removed. And talk to your doctor about how long to wait before trying again. 

Some doctors suggest at least 3 to 6 months. If you’ve already had an ectopic pregnancy, your chances of having another one go up.

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