Skip to Content

What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg implants and grows within the uterus. However, when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, commonly within a fallopian tube, it is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. 

The term “ectopic” is used to describe its unusual location, indicating that it is situated outside of the uterus rather than inside it.

Read this article to learn more about the signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy.

Normal vs. Ectopic Pregnancies

In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and is implanted inside the uterine wall. After it attaches to the uterine lining, it will continue to grow and trigger the placenta to begin its development.

In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo doesn’t make it to the inside of the uterus but gets stuck in the fallopian tube. According to the Mayo Clinic, this usually happens due to conditions such as inflammation, hormonal imbalances, or abnormal development of the fertilized egg,

What Are the Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Your fallopian tube cannot sustain an ectopic pregnancy, and it can put you at risk of tubal rupture. If you believe you could have an ectopic pregnancy, you should seek immediate medical treatment. 

Some of the symptoms to look out for include: 

  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding
  • Extreme lightheadedness or fainting
  • Shoulder pain

How Do I Know If I Have an Ectopic Pregnancy?

The best way to confirm if you have an ectopic pregnancy is with a no-cost ultrasound at our center. 

This vital screening will provide you with an image confirming where the pregnancy is located (inside your uterus versus outside).

An ultrasound will also give you details such as the gestational age (how far along you are) and whether your pregnancy is progressing with a heartbeat. These details can inform you of your next steps and available options.

Contact us today to schedule an ultrasound appointment with our compassionate staff.