Definition

An ectopic pregnancy happens outside of the womb. It cannot survive. Most happen within a fallopian tube. It can also happen the cervix, an ovary, or the abdomen.

Ectopic Pregnancy

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Causes

A problem with the fallopian tubes causes this to happen.

Risk Factors

It is more common in women who are 40 years of age or older.

These things may raise your risk:

Symptoms

A missed period is the first sign.

You may also have:

  • Belly pain
  • Spotty bleeding

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms. You will also be asked about your health history. A physical exam will be done.

Blood tests and urine tests will be done.

Pictures may be taken. This can be done with an ultrasound.

Treatment

You may be monitored or you may have:

If the pregnancy is small and has not ruptured (burst), you may be given a medicine to stop it from growing.

Surgery may be needed if the pregnancy has ruptured or if it is not in the fallopian tube. The pregnancy will be removed.

If the pregnancy is in the fallopian tube, the doctor may be able to fix the tube. In severe cases, the tube may need to be removed.

Prevention

To lower the chance of this condition:

  • Abstain from sex.
  • Always use a condom during sex.
  • Limit sex to one partner.