What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?

ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo attaches outside of the uterus. This condition can be dangerous to the mother and requires immediate medical attention. Learn more about ectopic pregnancy here so you can put your safety first. 

What is Different About an Ectopic Pregnancy?

In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg makes its way into the uterus (also called the womb) and implants on the uterine wall. As the pregnancy grows, the uterus expands to make room for the growing pregnancy.  

In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg plants itself outside the uterus. Usually, this happens in the fallopian tubes (the tubes that lead to the uterus,) but sometimes it can happen in other areas too.

A pregnancy cannot develop in an ectopic pregnancy. Experiencing an ectopic pregnancy can become dangerous for a woman if left untreated.

What Puts Some Women at Higher Risk of an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Some women are at an increased risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy. Women who have the following risk factors should be more watchful for symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy:

  • A history of ectopic pregnancy
  • A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)- an infection that can cause scar tissue to develop within your reproductive organs
  • Endometriosis- a condition in which tissue like the uterine lining grows in other areas of the body.
  • Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Having an IUD (a form of birth control that sits inside the cervix) when conception occurs
  • A history of smoking tobacco

What Are the Symptoms of an Ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy has many of the same symptoms as a normal pregnancy. A woman might miss her period, feel nauseated, or feel fatigued, just like she would if her pregnancy is in her uterus. She might also have additional symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

Since ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, a woman should seek medical help if she experiences symptoms of severe complications like:

  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Rectal Pressure
  • Bowel problems

Rule Out Ectopic Pregnancy 

The best way to rule out ectopic pregnancy is through ultrasound. If you think you are pregnant, an ultrasound is important not just to rule out an ectopic pregnancy but also to confirm the pregnancy, determine how long you have been pregnant, and find out if the pregnancy is viable (growing.)

Reach Out for Support

We offer no-cost limited ultrasounds. An appointment can help you understand your next steps.If you are pregnant and need support, please contact us today.

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