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Everything To Know About Ectopic Pregnancy

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Fertilization of an egg is the event that marks the beginning of a pregnancy. Normally, the fertilized egg sticks to the uterine lining (lining of the uterus). When a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. When a fertilized egg implants in a part of the body (other than the uterus) that can’t support its growth, this is what happens. The fallopian tube is frequently the site of an ectopic pregnancy (a pair of structures that connect the ovaries and uterus). Ectopic pregnancy can even occur on the ovary or in the abdominal cavity in rare situations.

There are a few different types of ectopic pregnancy.

  • Tubal Pregnancy

When the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube, it is called a tubal pregnancy. Tubal pregnancies are the most frequent type of ectopic pregnancy, accounting for the majority of ectopic pregnancies. The type of tubal pregnancy can be further differentiated based on where the pregnancy develops inside the fallopian tube.

  • Non-tubal ectopic pregnancy

Nearly 2% of all ectopic pregnancies develop in other parts of the body, such as the ovary, cervix or intra-abdominal region.

  • Heterotopic Pregnancy

In some rare circumstances, one fertilised egg implants inside the uterus while the other implants outside. Because of the painful nature of ectopic pregnancy, it is frequently identified before intrauterine pregnancy. The pregnancy inside the womb may still be viable if human chorionic gonadotropin levels continue to rise after the ectopic embryo has been removed.

Causes of ectopic pregnancy

The fertilized egg was unable to migrate down the fallopian tube rapidly enough, resulting in an ectopic pregnancy. A tube might become partially or totally blocked as a result of an infection or inflammation. Inflammation of the pelvis is a common cause of ectopic pregnancy.

Endometriosis is another common cause of tube blockage. This occurs when cells like those in the uterine lining develop outside the uterus also. The cells have the potential to develop inside the fallopian tube and restrict the normal passage of the fertilized eggs. The tube can potentially be blocked by scar tissue from earlier abdominal surgery or fallopian tube surgery.

Some more causes of ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Conception in females older than 35 years
  • Previous infections or operations in the pelvic area
  • Using assisted reproductive methods
  • History of inflammation in fallopian tubes

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy

At first, you may not notice any ectopic pregnancy symptoms. Some women with an ectopic pregnancy, on the other hand, experience the typical early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, such as missed periods, breast soreness and nausea. The following signs of ectopic pregnancy become more clear as the fetus keeps growing in the wrong place in the body.

  • Sharp pangs of pain in the pelvis, abdomen, shoulder or neck
  • Severe pain on one side of the abdomen
  • Light to heavy spotting
  • Dizziness
  • Rectal pressure

Treatment for ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy treatment may vary depending on the location of the ectopic pregnancy. This should be considered an emergency and a gynaecologist should be consulted immediately.

  • Medication

Your doctor may prescribe various medications that could prevent the ectopic mass from bursting. A common medication for this is a medicine that stops the growth of rapidly developing cells. When effective, this medication causes similar symptoms to those of a miscarriage, such as cramping, bleeding and passing of tissue.

  • Surgery

The embryo should be removed and any internal damage repaired, according to many surgeons. A laparotomy is a medical term for this surgery. To ensure that they can view their job, your doctor will insert a small camera through a small incision. The embryo is then removed and any damage to the fallopian tube is repaired.

Life-threatening complications

If the fertilized egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, it can cause the tube to rupture. There is a risk of heavy bleeding. Symptoms of this life-threatening event include severe pain in the abdominal region, extreme lightheadedness, fainting and shock.


The majority of women who experience ectopic pregnancies can have healthy pregnancies in future. The egg can be fertilized normally if both fallopian tubes or even just one, are still intact. If you have a pre-existing reproductive condition, however, it may damage your future fertility and raise your risk of ectopic pregnancy. This is especially true if the preexisting reproductive issue has resulted in ectopic pregnancy in the past. The best you can do is to consult a gynaecologist and clear all your doubts.

Also Read: How To Wash Out Sperm To Prevent Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Contraception Guide

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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