Doctor's Notes on Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy (also termed tubal pregnancy) is a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus. This occurs when the fertilized egg from the ovary does not reach or implant itself in the uterus. The products of this conception in most instances do not survive. The most common signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are abdominal and/or pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. They usually occur in the first 5-10 weeks of pregnancy. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency; signs and symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy include lightheadedness/dizzy, pale complexion, clammy – feeling skin, sweaty, fast heartbeats and severe abdominal pain and/or pelvic pain so intense that the pregnant woman can’t stand up to walk.
The cause of ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg lodges in the fallopian tube or some other location instead of reaching the uterus where it is supposed implant. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy may cause the woman to bleed into the abdomen; the blood loss that enters the abdomen cause the more intense signs and symptoms; the amount of blood loss can be life – threatening. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency; if it is suspected, call 911
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.