Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)
Fertilization occurs in a woman's fallopian tube and in most cases travels through the tube to the lining of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube.
In cases of ectopic pregnancies, women need to seek medical care immediately due to the risk of rupture of an organ (the tube or ovary) and major internal bleeding.
Prior pelvic infections, previous ectopic pregnancy, infertility, prior pelvic or abdominal surgery, endometriosis, sexually transmitted diseases and prior sterilization increase a woman's risk of ectopic pregnancy. Cigarette smoking and increased age may also contribute.
Most ectopic pregnancies are associated with pain and/or bleeding. Evaluation for ectopic pregnancy may include history and physical with pelvic exam, ultrasound, blood testing for HCG, the pregnancy hormone level and blood count.
If you are found to have an ectopic pregnancy, treatment options would be explained to you by your physician. These options include medication or surgical management.