Ectopic Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes called a tubular pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy can be a harrowing experience for a woman to have.  In many cases, the woman who has an ectopic pregnancy she may not even know that there is anything wrong with her pregnancy.  She may begin to make plans for her pregnancy.  Almost without a warning, these plans and dreams can come crashing to the ground with abdominal pain or an ultrasound that reveals that she has an ectopic pregnancy.  Statistics suggest that this is quite common, and that a large number of miscarriage are due to an ectopic pregnancy.

It is important to understand exactly what an ectopic pregnancy is.  An ectopic pregnancy refers to a condition in which the egg, when fertilized, implants somewhere other than the uterus.  The fertilized egg develops until it is big enough to cause pain for the mother.  Generally, the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tubes, the cervix, or in the abdomen.  The fertilized egg cannot develop normally and receive nutrition in these locations.  There is no procedure that can move a fertilized egg from one of these locations to the uterus.

There are a variety of ways that you can know if you’re having an ectopic pregnancy.  With an ectopic pregnancy, you may have abdominal or lower back pain.  You might experience some vaginal spotting or bleeding.  You might be dizzy or faint.  Your blood pressure might be low.  You may experience other symptoms of pregnancy, including nausea.

Generally, an ectopic pregnancy will produce a positive pregnancy test.  If your hCG levels are lower than expected, however, this can be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is treated surgically.  The health care provider removes the fertilized egg from the woman’s body.  This can be done laparoscopically, which is much less painful and evasive than traditional surgeries.  If an ectopic pregnancy is detected extremely early, it can be treated with an injection which will dissolve the fertilized egg.  After treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, your health care provider will likely want to see you again soon to make sure that your hCG levels return to normal.

Ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented.  Having your tubes tied, having endometriosis, having pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and having previous ectopic pregnancies or other conditions that have left the fallopian tubes scarred are all factors that increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.

Having an ectopic pregnancy does not, in general, prevent a woman from later having a successful pregnancy.  However, about 30 percent of women who have had an ectopic pregnancy will have at least some difficulty getting pregnant again.

  • shell bell

    I’m only my fourth injection depovera last two weeks I’ve be ln gettin fresh and brown blood sometimes through day and night for two weeks now

  • Vickie B.

    Not sure this is the right page to post on for this comment as this is about ectopic pregnancies. is a more topical page. Having said that, it could be that your body is not reacting well to the depo shot. You might want to talk to your doctor about it.

  • zobo

    I have been experiencing loeer abdominal pain that feels like period cramps for 3 days on and off. I was due for my period on the 25th and now am spotting light pink blood for two wipes. Is that a sign of an ectopic pregnancy? I already have 1 child via c section.. not sure if that makes a difference.

  • Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, there is no way for me to tell. If you are in pain, you really need to see a doctor. Have you taken any pregnancy tests?

  • zilla

    My last period on 15th nov 2014, test was positive. ? Scan still cant see any sac. Sometimes had rt lower abdo pain. Hcg done 9500 and after 48hrs was 13000..

  • Vickie B.

    Well, based on the numbers, it sounds like you are definitely pregnant. They could have done the scan too early. They will have to redo it to make sure everything is going as it should.

  • Aleisha

    I’m on the depo shot and I been having unprotection with my boyfriend but I’ve been having lower back pains, eating a lot, constantly using the restroom, sleeping alot. I took my shot in Jan on 30th and my next one is at the end of April. Do u think I’m pregnant??

  • Vickie B.

    Probably not, but did you take a pregnancy test?

  • Vickie B.

    Probably not, but did you take a pregnancy test?

Last modified: February 10, 2013

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