An ectopic or tubal pregnancy is a pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus – most commonly in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancy is a rare (between 1% and 2%) but serious condition in which the pregnancy cannot be sustained – meaning there is no chance of survival for the baby – and the life of the mother is at risk if not treated.

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

What are the risk factors?

  • A previous ectopic pregnancy in your reproductive history
  • Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or chlamydia
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • History of corrective surgery on the fallopian tube
  • Use of an intrauterine device (IUD) as birth control
  • Smoking
  • Age over 35 years

    What are the common symptoms?

    • Severe lower stomach pain, especially on one side 
    • Vaginal spotting or bleeding 
    • Shoulder pain 
    • Feeling weak, dizzy, or fainting 

    What should I do if I suspect I have an ectopic pregnancy?

    Ectopic pregnancies, though rare, are the leading cause of pregnancy-related death during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. [1] If you are experiencing severe pain or bleeding, you need to go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

    If you have any other symptoms, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. Ultrasound is the only way to determine if a pregnancy is ectopic.  

    How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?

    According to Mayo Clinic, a fertilized egg can’t develop normally outside the uterus. [2] To prevent life-threatening complications to the mother, the tubal pregnancy needs to be treated.  

    The Charlotte Lozier Institute breaks down treatment options like this: “methotrexate injection, surgical removal of the pregnancy tissue (salpingostomy), surgical removal of the tube (salpingectomy), or occasionally, close monitoring without treatment in there are signs the ectopic pregnancy may be miscarrying.” [3]

    Ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition that carries with it enormous risk to the mother and unavoidable loss of the baby. If you are experiencing significant pain or bleeding, please get to the nearest emergency room immediately.

    Get the care you need at Harmony Women’s Care

     At Harmony Women’s Care, we screen for ectopic pregnancy symptoms as part of our early pregnancy evaluation. If you think you might be pregnant, a pregnancy evaluation is the first step.

    Schedule an appointment today. You are not alone.

    The information on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling, medical or prenatal care.
    Our services are provided to clients without regard to age, race, income, nationality, religious affiliation, disability, or other arbitrary circumstances. In keeping with our non-profit, pro-woman mission, Harmony Women's Care Center does not provide or refer for abortion services.
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