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What is pregnancy outside of the womb?


What is pregnancy outside of the womb?

What is pregnancy outside of the womb?

Contents of the article

  • What happens in the case of an ectopic pregnancy?
  • Causes of an ectopic pregnancy
  • Risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy
  • Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
  • The diagnosis
  • What are the treatment options?
  • Can I get pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy?


The good news is that an ectopic pregnancy is rare, but it does require medical intervention if it does occur. Therefore, it is useful for you to know enough about it as a precaution. Learn about an ectopic pregnancy and how to distinguish it.

What happens in the case of an ectopic pregnancy?

In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube, heading towards the uterus, where it stabilizes itself and begins growth. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube (and in some cases in the ovary, cervix, or other places in the abdomen). The fetus cannot grow properly in these places and therefore the pregnancy cannot continue. The chance of an ectopic pregnancy is relatively low, accounting for only 2 percent of pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancy needs to be addressed and your healthcare professional will suggest and discuss the best options for you. In the following, we provide some of the causes, risks, symptoms and methods of treatment for this condition.

Causes of an ectopic pregnancy

Possible causes of an ectopic pregnancy include:

  • Inflammation. Inflammation or swelling in the fallopian tube can lead to partial or complete blockage, which prevents the fertilized egg from continuing its course in the tube.
  • Scar tissue. It may be difficult for the egg to travel through the fallopian tube if its path is blocked due to the presence of scar tissue that formed after an infection or some surgery.
  • Fallopian tube shape. In some cases, there may be difficulty in transmitting the fertilized egg through the fallopian tube if the channel’s shape is abnormal as a result of an abnormal growth or birth defect.

Risk factors for an ectopic pregnancy

The risk of an ectopic pregnancy increases if:

  • You are over 35 years old
  • You've previously had an ectopic pregnancy
  • You previously had abdominal or pelvic surgery
  • You previously had pelvic inflammatory disease
  • You got pregnant after a tubal ligation or while having an IUD
  • You are a smoker
  • You suffer from endometriosis (endometriosis)
  • You have become pregnant using fertility treatments or are using fertility boosters.

Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy

You may be wondering how to determine your ectopic pregnancy, particularly that some of the signs of an ectopic pregnancy are the same signs of a normal pregnancy that you may experience in the first trimester. Remember that ectopic pregnancies are rare and that a healthcare professional is the most appropriate person to make the correct diagnosis. Some women experience no symptoms at all in this type of pregnancy. But if you have symptoms, you will most likely notice signs of an ectopic pregnancy between the fourth and twelfth week of pregnancy . These signs may include:

  • Pain that is severe, recurring, and may vary in severity. The pain of an ectopic pregnancy may be located in the pelvis, abdomen, or in the shoulder and neck.
  • Bleeding that may be heavier or lighter than your usual period. Remember that early pregnancy bleeding may also be implantation bleeding, so consult your doctor immediately.
  • Feeling of discomfort when urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting.

These symptoms may start very early in your pregnancy, perhaps even before you knew you were pregnant or had a positive result on a pregnancy test. In some cases, the healthcare professional may be the first to notice signs of an ectopic pregnancy, while performing the first ultrasound pregnancy test [ link. Consult a healthcare professional immediately when you notice severe pain that lasts for more than several minutes, or if any bleeding occurs. Go to the hospital as soon as possible when there is vaginal bleeding accompanied by abdominal pain, shoulder pain, weakness, dizziness, or fainting.

The diagnosis

Your healthcare professional can diagnose an ectopic pregnancy by performing the following tests:

  • A pelvic exam to check for any pain or pain with pressure or a lump in the abdominal area.
  • Ultrasound examination to check the location of pregnancy.
  • A urine test or blood test to measure levels of the pregnancy hormone "HCG". If this pregnancy hormone level is lower than expected, it may be due to an ectopic pregnancy.

What are the treatment options?

Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy involves the termination of the pregnancy through surgery or medication, and the treatment aims to treat the affected fallopian tube. Your doctor will discuss your options with you, which include:

  • Methotrexate is used to treat an ectopic pregnancy. This medicine helps your body to absorb the pregnancy tissue.
  • A minimally invasive procedure such as laparoscopic surgery, in which the pregnancy tissue outside the uterus is removed, and the diseased fallopian tube is repaired or removed.
  • Removing all or part of the fallopian tube. This procedure may be suggested if the tube was stretched or ruptured with the occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy, and this procedure can be an emergency saving the patient's life.

You may have questions about what to expect after ectopic pregnancy surgery. Your doctor will monitor you during the recovery phase of an ectopic pregnancy and any surgery you may undergo. This monitoring includes re-checking your levels of the pregnancy hormone "HCG" to ensure that the pregnancy tissue is completely removed.

Can I get pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy?

If you are wondering about the possibility of a healthy pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy, it is best to speak with your healthcare professional who can provide you with specific directions based on your medical history. Ectopic pregnancies are rare and treatable, but you should consult your health care professional if you notice any symptoms that worry you.