What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy (also called a tubal pregnancy) is a pregnancy that implants outside of your uterus – most commonly in your fallopian tubes. This is a serious condition in which your pregnancy cannot be sustained – meaning there is no chance of survival for your baby – and your life is at risk if not treated.
What are the Risk Factors of This Type of Pregnancy?
- A previous tubal pregnancy in your reproductive history
- Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or chlamydia
- At Southside Women’s Services, we offer free STD testing and treatment referrals. Call today to schedule.
- Having gone through in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Having a history of corrective surgery on your fallopian tube
- Using an intrauterine device (IUD) as birth control
Common Symptoms of This Condition?
- Severe lower stomach pain, especially on one side
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Shoulder pain
- Feeling weak, dizzy, or fainting
How Should I Proceed if I Suspect I Have an Ectopic Pregnancy?
If you are experiencing severe pain or bleeding, you need to go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Likewise, if you have any other symptoms of tubal pregnancy, you need to reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
Since ultrasound is the only way to determine if your pregnancy is properly placed in your uterus, you need to receive ultrasound services promptly.
Southside Women’s Services offers limited ultrasounds free of charge. Call today to schedule.
How is This Condition Treated?
According to the Mayo Clinic1, a fertilized egg can’t develop normally outside of your uterus. Therefore, to prevent life-threatening complications, your tubal pregnancy needs to be treated.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute2 explains potential treatment options like this: “methotrexate injection, surgical removal of your pregnancy tissue (salpingostomy), surgical removal of your fallopian tube (salpingectomy), or occasionally, close monitoring of your symptoms without treatment if there are signs your ectopic pregnancy may be miscarrying.”
Unfortunately, tubal pregnancy is a serious condition that carries with it enormous risk to your health and unavoidable loss of your baby. For that reason, if you are in significant pain or bleeding, please get to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Conversely, if you suspect you might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy but are not bleeding or in pain, please seek help as soon as possible.
Southside Women’s Services offers resources to determine if your pregnancy is ectopic. We will walk with you and guide you through next steps. You are not alone. Schedule your appointment today.
1 Ectopic pregnancy – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic