An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the main cavity of the uterus. Pregnancy begins with a fertilized egg. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in one of the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus (fallopian tubes).
This type of ectopic pregnancy is known as a tubal pregnancy. In some cases, however, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the abdominal cavity, ovary or neck of the uterus (cervix). An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue might destroy various maternal structures. Left untreated, life-threatening blood loss is possible.
Light vaginal bleeding
Nausea and vomiting with pain
Lower abdominal pain
Sharp abdominal cramps
Pain on one side of your body
Dizziness or weakness
Pain in your shoulder, neck, or rectum
If the fallopian tube ruptures, the pain and bleeding could be severe enough to cause fainting.
The exam may show tenderness in the pelvic area. A pregnancy test and vaginal ultrasound will be done. HCG is a hormone normally produced during pregnancy. Checking the blood level of this hormone (quantitative HCG blood test) can diagnose pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening. The pregnancy cannot continue to birth. The developing cells must be removed to save the mother's life. If the area of the ectopic pregnancy breaks open (ruptures), it can lead to bleeding and shock, an emergency condition.
Treatment for shock may include:
Fluids given through a vein
Keeping warm Oxygen
Raising the legs
If the ectopic pregnancy has not ruptured, treatment may include: Surgery Medicine that ends the pregnancy, along with close monitoring by your doctor.