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How Do I Know if I’m Having an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Updated: May 17, 2023

Ectopic means “out of place,” meaning the embryo grows outside the womb. The only way to verify the location of a pregnancy is with an ultrasound, which provides a digital image of the pregnancy.

Pregnancy outside the womb is not viable and can be life-threatening to the pregnant woman if left untreated.

Read this article for common symptoms, treatment procedures, and health screening you can take to alert you to an ectopic pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy usually develop between the 4th and 12th week of pregnancy. Some main symptoms include the following:

  • Inconsistent vaginal bleeding

  • Lower abdominal pain

  • Shoulder tip pain

Most ectopic pregnancies are in the fallopian tube, posing a tubal rupture risk as the pregnancy grows. Signs of tubal rupture include:

  • Sharp, sudden, and intense pain in your tummy

  • Feeling very dizzy or fainting

  • Feeling sick

What is the Treatment for an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Once an ectopic pregnancy has been diagnosed, there are multiple treatment options:

  • Medication to stop the pregnancy from growing

  • Abdominal surgeries to remove the surgery

A doctor will inject the medication methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy cells. The doctor will then test for hCG levels, a hormone that indicates pregnancy. The test results will help them determine how well the medication is working.

Surgery will be administered as needed if the medication is not successful. If the tube has not ruptured, it will be left alone, but a physician will likely remove a ruptured tube along with the ectopic pregnancy.

Where Can I Get an Ultrasound?

At Positive Options, we offer limited ultrasounds and other no-cost pregnancy services for women in Ottawa County and surrounding areas.

With a complimentary ultrasound, you can verify the pregnancy's location and learn its age and viability. Knowing the age and whether or not it is a miscarriage can inform you of what procedures you are eligible for.

In addition, we also offer no-cost options consultations where you can ask questions, get evidence-based education, and learn about local resources. We are here to equip you to make the best decision for your reproductive health.

Contact us today!


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