|Birth||Postnatal||Childhood Illness||Glossary A-Z|
An ectopic pregnancy or tubal pregnancy, occurs when the
embryo never makes it to the uterus ,
where it typically implants ,
and starts to develop in the fallopian
tube . Sometimes the embryo can also occur in the cervical canal, one
of the ovaries or the pelvic or abdominal cavity ( abdominal pregnancy ).An
ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition which must be dealt
The risk of an ectopic pregnancy is increased where:
Symptoms and Signs
Common symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are sharp abdominal cramps or pains on one side. The pains may start out as a dull ache that gets more severe with time. Neck pains and shoulder pains are also common. You may also have a menstrual type of bleeding along with the pain, but the pain is the most obvious sign.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If a woman tests positive for pregnancy ( hCG
levels test ), or has missed her period but the uterus does not display
the typical signs associated with pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy is suspected.
scan can be useful in identifying that the uterus is indeed empty and
that blood has accumulated in the pelvic or abdominal cavity. A culdocentesis
may also be then performed to confirm a diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.
A laparoscope may also
be employed to directly view the ectopic pregnancy.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
|http://www.hon.ch/Dossier/MotherChild/complications/complicate_ectopic.html||Last modified: Oct 20 2004|