What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Here is a woman wondering What Is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy, also referred to as an extrauterine pregnancy or tubal pregnancy, is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg implants and begins to develop outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes.

These pregnancies are nonviable and can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated.

What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy? 

While some ectopic pregnancies can occur randomly or without a known cause, they can often be attributed to other health conditions or medical procedures. Scarring of reproductive organs is a common cause as the scar tissue may cause the egg to get stuck on its way to the uterus.

Ectopic pregnancies may be related to the following health conditions or habits: 

  • Smoking
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) 1
  • Endometriosis 
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Medical treatments, such as abortion 2
  • Fertility treatments 

Can Ectopic Pregnancies Be Moved? 

Unfortunately, no — ectopic pregnancies cannot be moved to the uterus and are considered nonviable, meaning they do not have the potential to make it to term. If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, it’s essential to be treated as soon as possible to avoid a potentially fatal outcome. 

How Do I Know if I Have an Ectopic Pregnancy? 

Symptoms related to ectopic pregnancies can be similar to those of a normal pregnancy, including a missed period, nausea, or breast sensitivity. However, the longer the ectopic pregnancy is allowed to develop, the more noticeable the symptoms may become. 

The following may be symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:

 

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding (changing pads every hour) 
  • Dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness
  • Acute abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain in the shoulder area

Whether you are experiencing unusual symptoms or not, it’s important to rule out the presence of an ectopic pregnancy through an ultrasound scan.

If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering abortion, it’s still essential to receive an ultrasound scan to confirm that you are not pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy.

Where Can I Get a Free Ultrasound Scan? 

BsideU for Life provides free and confidential ultrasound scans to help you learn more about your pregnancy and rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.  

Schedule your free appointment today!





1. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

2. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).