Approximately one in every 50 pregnancies in the United States is ectopic. Ectopic pregnancies, also known as tubal pregnancies, occur when a fertilized egg grows in the wrong place (e.g., ovary, fallopian tube, cervix or abdominal cavity). Most ectopic pregnancies—nearly 98 percent—occur in the fallopian tube.
Unfortunately, ectopic pregnancies cannot move or be moved to the uterus, so they always require treatment. They cannot result in a baby and can be life threatening for the woman. There are two main treatment options for ectopic pregnancies which depend on your unique signs and symptoms: medication or surgery.
Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy
Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain are the usually the first symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. The following symptoms may indicate a serious medical emergency:
- Sharp waves of pain in the abdomen, pelvis, shoulder or neck
- Severe pain on one side of the abdomen
- Light to heavy vaginal bleeding
- Dizziness or fainting
- Rectal pressure
Ectopic pregnancy and fertility
If you’ve suffered an ectopic pregnancy you have a slightly higher risk for another, however as many as 65% of women are healthily pregnant within 18 months of an ectopic pregnancy.
The chance of subsequent pregnancies after an ectopic pregnancy depends on the health of your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Some women who experience ectopic pregnancy require medical intervention to remove the fertilized egg and, in some cases, the ovary or fallopian tube.
Am I at risk for ectopic pregnancy?
You have an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy if you have a history of or currently use the following:
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
- Salpingitis (pelvic infection)
- Damaged fallopian tube
- Tubal ligation
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Progesterone-only oral contraceptive
To learn more about ectopic pregnancies and fertility, contact the skilled specialists at Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility. We can help you achieve a healthy pregnancy, whether you’ve experienced a previous ectopic pregnancy or are struggling with unexplained infertility. Call 866-537-2461 so your dreams of growing your family can come true.