Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes, but they can also occur in other locations, such as the cervix, ovaries, or abdomen.

Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and cannot be carried to term. If left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can rupture, causing internal bleeding and other serious health problems.

Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy

The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy can vary depending on the location of the pregnancy and how far along it is. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pelvic pain, especially on one side
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder pain

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

Causes of an ectopic pregnancy

The exact cause of an ectopic pregnancy is unknown, but there are a number of factors that can increase the risk, including:

  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis
  • Tubal surgery or damage
  • Smoking
  • Using an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Age over 35

Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy

The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy will depend on the location of the pregnancy and how far along it is. If the pregnancy is small and has not ruptured, it may be possible to treat it with medication. However, if the pregnancy is large or has ruptured, surgery may be necessary.

If you have an ectopic pregnancy, it is important to get treatment right away. Early treatment can help to prevent complications and improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future.

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