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What is Ectopic Pregnancy?

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg (embryo) implants and grows in the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy means the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tubes. Around 1 in 90 known pregnancies are ectopic, so it is vital to be aware of the risks and symptoms of this condition in early pregnancy.

An ectopic (also known as tubal) pregnancy can rupture and poses a significant risk to the woman’s health if undiagnosed. Read this article to learn more about the condition and steps you can take to ensure your pregnancy is not ectopic.

What Causes Ectopic Pregnancies?

Once the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta forms, and the pregnancy develops and grows.

In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants itself outside the uterus, which is nonviable and poses the risk of rupturing.

While any woman may have an ectopic pregnancy, there’s no way to prevent one. The following risk factors, however, can make it more likely:

  • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • STIs (sexually transmitted infections)

  • Being older than 35

  • Having multiple sexual partners

Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Unless you have an ultrasound, it’s difficult to tell if your pregnancy is ectopic because you’ll experience typical pregnancy symptoms at first. As the pregnancy continues, you may begin to experience issues like:

  • Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain

  • Upset stomach and vomiting

  • Sharp abdominal cramps

  • Pain in your shoulder, neck, lower back, or rectum

  • Dizziness or fainting

The only way to confirm if you have an ectopic pregnancy is with an ultrasound. This important scan generates an image that reveals the location of the pregnancy.

No-Cost Ultrasounds

At Positive Options, we offer complimentary pregnancy services like ultrasounds and pregnancy tests to the women in our community.

If you suspect you might have an ectopic pregnancy or just want peace of mind, we can help you find the answers you need.

Contact us to schedule your no-cost, confidential appointment today.



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