Ectopic pregnancy or tubal pregnancy is a rare complication of pregnancy affecting about 2% of all pregnant women. While uncommon, it can be life-threatening for the mother.
What is An Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic means a location other than the uterus. In up to 1 out of every 50 pregnancies, the fertilized egg stays in your fallopian tube. The egg attaches in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This type of pregnancy cannot continue normally. Ectopic pregnancies usually occur in the first trimester, typically at about 6 weeks.
What Causes Ectopic Pregnancy?
There is no specific cause for tubal pregnancies. Risk factors include previous ectopic pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy if you have an intrauterine device (IUD or coil) is a small contraceptive device IUD.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy
Common symptoms of ectopic or tubal pregnancies include:
- Vaginal bleeding, which may be light.
- Abdominal (belly) pain or pelvic pain, usually 6 to 8 weeks after a missed period.
- Pelvic pain occurring sharply on one side and then spreading to the other is also common.
- Heavy or severe vaginal bleeding.
- Pain with intercourse or during a pelvic exam.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting (syncope) as well as other signs of shock.
- Shoulder pain caused by bleeding into the abdomen under the diaphragm. The bleeding irritates the diaphragm and is experienced as shoulder pain.
See your OB doctor or come to the ER if you have pain or bleeding and are pregnant or possibly pregnant.It’s a simple matter for us to check you out with a blood test and an ultrasound.