Understanding Ectopic Pregnancy-Apollo Hospitals Blog

When a fertilized egg attaches to the outside of the uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. A woman’s womb, also known as the womb, is the home of the fetus before the baby is born. Pregnancy begins when the fertilized egg is transplanted into the uterus. In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg needs to be attached to the uterine wall.

Fertilized eggs often attach to the outside of the uterine wall, such as the fallopian tubes and cervix. When this happens, it is called an ectopic pregnancy.

How common is it?

Ectopic pregnancy occurs about once every 50 pregnancies and requires immediate attention. The reason is that this type of pregnancy does not progress normally and can lead to excessive bleeding, a medical emergency.

Types of ectopic pregnancy

Based on where the fertilized egg is transplanted outside the uterus, ectopic pregnancy is of the following types:

● Fallopian tube pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy that occurs in the fallopian tube when the egg is released from the ovary is called a fallopian tube pregnancy. This is the most common type of ectopic pregnancy and can be further classified based on where the implantation of the fertilized egg occurs in the fallopian tubes.

● Non-fallopian tube pregnancies: This type of pregnancy accounts for about 2% of all ectopic pregnancies. The fertilized egg in these cases can attach to the cervix, ovaries, or anywhere on the abdominal wall.

● Ectopic pregnancy: In very rare cases, one egg is transplanted into the uterine wall and the other is transplanted outside the uterus.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy

The early symptoms and signs of an ectopic pregnancy can be confused with the signs of a normal pregnancy. Nausea, tenderness in the breast, and loss of menstruation are both early symptoms.

One of the first early signs of an ectopic pregnancy is pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. However, because these are consistent with the usual early symptoms of pregnancy, doctors use a step-by-step method to diagnose whether the pregnancy is ectopic. The following are early signs of an ectopic pregnancy.

● Pelvic pain and mild vaginal bleeding

● Promote defecation

● Referred pain in the shoulder

The specific symptoms depend on where the blood collects and where the nerves are stimulated.

Urgent symptoms

If the fertilized egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, the fallopian tube can rupture. There may be a lot of bleeding in the abdomen. Symptoms of this life-threatening event include extreme dizziness, fainting, and shock.

Seek medical attention immediately if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.

What Causes an Ectopic Pregnancy?

The cause of ectopic pregnancy is still unknown. However, certain causes are related to it.

● Hormonal disturbance

● Smoking history

● Infertility treatment like IVF

● History of ectopic pregnancy

● Birth defects

● Genetic factors

● Shape of the fallopian tube

There are several risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancy. Some of these include –

1. Mother’s age is over 35 years old

2. History of endometriosis

3. History of pelvic inflammatory disease.

4. History of sexually transmitted diseases (STI)

5. History of pelvic or abdominal surgery.

6. In rare cases, conception occurs despite salpingectomy or intrauterine device (IUD) placement, leading to an ectopic pregnancy.

If you have one or more of these risk factors, it is advisable to consult your doctor to avoid serious complications.

How is an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

The first thing to do if you suspect an ectopic pregnancy is to visit an obstetrician / gynecologist. A physical examination does not help determine an ectopic pregnancy, but your doctor may do it for you.

Apart from this, your doctor will also advise you to have some blood tests to determine progesterone and hCG levels. Low or reduced levels of these hormones may indicate the absence of the amniotic sac.

Doctors also insert a lubricated cane-like ultrasound head into the vagina to perform a transvaginal ultrasound to better observe the endometrium in the womb.

However, if the symptoms are very severe, you may not have enough time to perform all the evaluation procedures. You may be taken for first aid.

Treatment of ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is still considered a pregnancy, but it is not safe for the mother and fetus. Fetuses in these cases rarely reach maturity and must be aborted. For this reason, ectopic pregnancy requires prompt treatment. This includes –

● Medicine

If an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed before it becomes an emergency, your doctor may prescribe you medicine to prevent the ectopic pregnancy from rapidly dividing cells in the ectopic mass. The drug causes convulsions and bleeding, allowing easy passage of ectopic tissue as well as miscarriage.

● Surgery

However, surgery is often preferred over medication. In this case, the ectopic mass is surgically removed laparoscopically.

Post-treatment care

After the ectopic mass has been removed, the doctor will advise on post-treatment instructions and signs to watch out for.

● Do not lift very heavy weights (> 10 lbs).

● To prevent constipation, rehydrate and drink plenty of fluids.

● Avoid sex and tampons, and rest your pelvic area for a while.

● Take a complete rest one week after surgery or miscarriage and gradually increase activity.

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Prevention of ectopic pregnancy

Having one ectopic pregnancy increases your risk of the next ectopic pregnancy, but you should never stop trying an ectopic pregnancy. Once you have completely recovered from your surgery, you should see your doctor before trying to get pregnant again. There is no way to completely prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but it can reduce the risk factors that can lead to an ectopic pregnancy.


After an ectopic pregnancy, you need to know that you can then have a healthy, full-term pregnancy. If you have any questions, please contact the obstetrician and gynecologist team at Apollo Hospital to inform you of your pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Does an ectopic pregnancy damage the fallopian tubes?

If not treated immediately, an increase in ectopic masses can cause the fallopian tubes to rupture, causing life-threatening bleeding. In some cases, surgery performed to remove an ectopic mass can damage the fallopian tubes.

2. How common is ectopic pregnancy?

The likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy is very low, with about 1 in 50 to 100 pregnant women suffering from an ectopic pregnancy. However, if you already have an ectopic pregnancy, you are more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy than a woman who has no history of an ectopic pregnancy.

Request a reservation at Apollo Hospital
Please call 1860-500-1066 to make a reservation.

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