Ectopic Pregnancies

Ectopic Pregnancies


In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg will grow in the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg lodges in the fallopian tube (or in places other than uterus). No pregnancy can proceed outside the uterus. Hence, they will need to be terminated. Left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy may become a condition requiring emergency treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Damaged fallopian tubes
  • Congenital defect
  • Previous abortions
  • Patient has suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis
  • Conception happens in spite of using birth control methods
  • Pregnancy happens by treatments/fertility medication
  • Smoking

Signs and Symptoms

  • Vomiting
  • Extreme pain on one side of the abdomen
  • Bleeding
  • Feeling of faintness
  • Breasts might hurt


  • If the tube ruptures or breaks, it needs immediate treatment as it could become fatal otherwise
  • There is a chance of more ectopic pregnancies happening
  • Might necessitate removal of fallopian tube


  • A transvaginal ultrasound to check for the presence of a gestational sac. An absent sac inside uterus might mean an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Checking for hormones hCG and progesterone.


In the initial stages (unruptured fallopian tube) the doctor will treat with methotrexate. When effective, it will terminate the pregnancy.

Sometimes surgery may be done for the removal of the pregnancy inside tube and to repair any damage done internally. If the fallopian tube is badly damaged, its removal will also be necessary.


The following might help prevent ectopic pregnancy.-

  • Not having many sexual partners which will increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and PID which may result in an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Undergoing regular gynecological examination.
  • Quitting smoking.

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