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A pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside the womb, typically in a fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy, also known as eccyesis or tubal pregnancy, is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus.
Symptoms: Symptoms which may include vaginal bleeding (in varying amounts), sudden lower abdominal pain, pelvic pain, a tender cervix, an adnexal mass, or adnexal tenderness. Heavy vaginal bleeding may lead to a misdiagnosis of miscarriage. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are more rare symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.
Diagnosis and Treament: The diagnosis is typically confirmed with blood tests and imaging studies, such as an ultrasound. Using methotrexate to end an ectopic pregnancy spares you from an incision and general anesthesia. Methotrexate is usually the first treatment choice for ending an early ectopic pregnancy. Regular follow-up blood tests are needed for days to weeks after the medicine is injected.
Epidemology: The percentage of births outside hospital (1.2%) and of preterm births (11.6%), the rate of stillbirths (3 per 1000 live births) and the rate of ectopic pregnancies (20 per 1000 live births) agreed well with representative data for Germany. There were 4.1 induced abortions per 100 live births, compared to 18.1 in national data. Positive predictive values and sensitivities of markers varied across marker categories and for different pregnancy outcomes.