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Q&A: What is an ectopic pregnancy?

What exactly is an ectopic pregnancy and how can it be detected early?

Re: What exactly is an ectopic pregnancy and how can it be detected early?

The Bump Expert

Some women are hit with this diagnosis right after they've received their BFP; others aren't even aware that they were pregnant until later. Either way, dealing with an ectopic pregnancy can be a stressful and upsetting for any couple.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when your egg implants itself outside of the uterine wall, generally in the fallopian tube. Since baby can’t grow outside of the uterus without severe medical complications (the tube will eventually rupture, causing internal bleeding), your doc has no choice but to remove the fertilized egg through surgery. Because it's not medically possible for the egg to be moved to your womb, ectopic pregnancies always end in a loss of the fetus.

Early detection by ultrasound or hormonal tests will help provide you with safer options for removing the egg. If detected early, the egg can be removed with a drug called methotrexate, which basically destroys surrounding tissue in order to release the egg. If not, the egg must be surgically removed. The three procedures, called laparotomies, involve either an incision in the tube to release the egg, removal of the portion where the egg is implanted, or total removal of the tube (in the event that it ruptures, or suffers internal bleeding). Again, the earlier it is detected the better, so make sure to stay on top of your prenatal appointments and always ask your doc plenty of questions.

A diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy may feel like a ride on an emotional roller coaster. Remember to do whatever it takes to help you get through it, from joining support groups, such as RESOLVE or SHARE, to exploring your options for private counseling. Whatever you decide, be sure to stay positive. Although infertility is increased after an ectopic pregnancy, many women are able to successfully have a baby in the future.

By Sandra Le Plasse

re: Q: Ectopic pregnancy?

Are Ectopic pregnancies hereditary? My mother and my aunt have both had one. Does that increase my chances of having one?

The Howells |

Q&A: What is an ectopic pregnancy?

nope, my doctor said it's not hereditary. It just happens. My aunt had an ectopic when she was 12 weeks.


Q&A: What is an ectopic pregnancy?

I was wondering how quickly an ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed? It’s the 28th of July. My next period should be August 5th. I had sex on the 21st and 23rd (the day I ovulated). The past three days I have experienced on and off pain across the middle lower part of my abdomen. Now I have sharp stabbing pain today on my left side. The pain is the same as when I ovulate which was the 23rd. I have also had a fever and dizziness the last few days. I am not sure if I am just getting sick or if I might have an ectopic pregnancy. I never have pre-period pain, only ovulation pain, so the fact that I have a similar pain now is odd. I appreciate your thoughts.

althomas80 |

Q&A: What is an ectopic pregnancy?

I am 25yrs old and have just experienced an ectopic pregnancy. I suffered a miscarriage in July and started trying again after a normal period. In September I began bleeding right around the time of my expected period so I thought nothing of it- I also tested three days prior and it came up negative. Well after bleeding for over a week I decided to go to the ER and that's when they discovered I was pregnant. However, they couldnt see anything on the u/s and assumed I was miscarrying again. I f/u with the physician and through a series of bld work every other day for the next week they saw that my hcg levels were increasing but not doubling. After a week and a half of watching this trend they made the determination it was ectopic and had me get a dose of methotrexate to stop it. Its been three weeks since the treatment and Im still bleeding but it is slowing down. They've also checked my levels once a week and have seen a decline. I know that they say an ectopic pregnancy can increase infertility but Im wondering if you havent had surgery that it wont make a difference because I still have both my tubes. I am waiting for the green light to start trying again but am really nervous. Hopefully the next pregnancy will be a success. Good luck to everyone out there!

sc2525 |

Q&A: What is an ectopic pregnancy?

my doctor said it's not hereditary. It just happens. My aunt had an ectopic when she was 12 weeks Pakar Seo

jr3074 |