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. Early treatment of an ectopic pregnancy can help preserve the chance for future healthy pregnancies.
A fertilized egg can't develop normally outside the uterus. To prevent life-threatening complications, the ectopic tissue needs to be removed. If the ectopic pregnancy is detected early, an injection of the drug methotrexate is sometimes used to stop cell growth and dissolve existing cells. It's imperative that the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is certain before this treatment is undertaken. After the injection, doctor will monitor blood for the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). If the HCG level remains high, you might need another injection of methotrexate. In other cases, ectopic pregnancy is usually treated with laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made in the abdomen, near or in the navel. Then doctor uses a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light (laparoscope) to view the area. Other instruments can be inserted into the tube or through other small incisions to remove the ectopic tissue and repair the fallopian tube. If the fallopian tube is significantly damaged, it might need to be removed. If the ectopic pregnancy is causing heavy bleeding or the fallopian tube has ruptured, you might need emergency surgery through an abdominal incision (laparotomy). In some cases, the fallopian tube can be repaired. Typically, however, a ruptured tube must be removed. doctor will monitor HCG levels after surgery to be sure all of the ectopic tissue was removed. If HCG levels don't come down quickly, an injection of methotrexate may be needed.