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Ectopic Pregnancy


Ectopic Pregnancy – An Overview

The condition of an ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo gets attached on the other places rather than inside the uterus. The embryo (fertilized egg) may be found attached to fallopian tubes, ovaries, peritonial cavity. Majorly all of the ectopic pregnancies happen in the fallopian tube therefore are also referred to as tubal pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancy is an emergency medical condition because the fallopian tubes are not capable of holding growing embryos and require to be treated immediately.

Signs of Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy may not always show symptoms and may be identified during early ultrasound scan. Most commonly the symptoms for ectopic pregnancy tend to become visible during the 4 to12 weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms for an ectopic pregnancy may comprise of:

  • Severe pain in lower belly, especially on one side.
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting.
  • Missed period.
  • Feeling of weakness, dizziness or fainting.
  • Sharp pain in shoulder.


  • Mainly by pelvic ultrasound scan or TVS
  • Urine pregnancy test
  • Serum Beta HCG done in blood

Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy-

An ectopic pregnancy may be treated using any of the following methods-

Surgical treatment-Laparoscopy or Laparotomy using general anesthesia is usually done The procedure may either involve repairing or removing the affected fallopian tube

Medical treatment- Methotrexate injection is given. This medicine allows the body to kill and absorb the growing embryo.

Recovery after Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a kind of early pregnancy loss and may make the person undergo grief and disappointment. During these stages the person may experience a mix of emotions. And these feelings may tend to last for several months. The condition of ectopic pregnancy may also affect your partner and relationship. It may lead to shattering of hopes and plans of family. Thus, the occurrence of these uncommon feelings require tender loving care and sometimes needs professional support from a psychologist or a Psychiatrist.

Thinking about conceiving again

Once you become stable physically and emotionally after this catastrophe, you can certainly try for another baby. However, it is advisable to wait for at least 3 months before trying to conceive again. Moreover, try investing enough time to achieve the best possible recovery. If you have been treated using methotrexate it is ideally recommended to wait for at least three months, because becoming pregnant during this period may pose a risk to your baby’s health. Even after getting one fallopian tube removed a woman can easily become pregnant again if the other fallopian tube is normal and patent.. About 65 percent of women are believed to achieve successful pregnancy within the 18 months of ectopic pregnancy. One must report to the doctor as soon as one conceives as there are increased chances of ectopic pregnancy again.

Reasons for Ectopic Pregnancy-

  • Commonest cause is Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – inflammation of the female reproductive system.
  • Ongoing fertility treatments and fertility inducing medications
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) or intrauterine system (IUS).
  • Increasing maternal age, most likely between 35-44 years.