- An uncommon but serious pregnancy complication.
- Happens when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus.
- Symptoms include abdominal and shoulder pain, cramps, vaginal bleeding, nausea, and dizziness, and need treatment right away.
- Ectopic pregnancies are serious. They can cause internal bleeding, infection, and death.
- Ectopic pregnancies are not very common.
Normal pregnancies develop inside a woman's uterus. "Ectopic" means out of place. In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg attaches to the wrong place in a woman's body. In most ectopic pregnancies, the egg attaches to the woman's fallopian tube. That is why ectopic pregnancies are often called "tubal pregnancies." Rarely, ectopic pregnancies can take place in other parts of a woman's body — like on the cervix, ovary, or somewhere else in a woman's abdomen.
What Are the Signs and Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy?
Very early in pregnancy, ectopic pregnancies seem like normal pregnancies. A woman may have a missed period while experiencing breast tenderness, fatigue, and nausea.
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy include:
- Severe abdominal pain on one side of the body
- Cramps and spotting
- Vaginal bleeding
- Shoulder pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fainting spells or dizziness
If you have severe pain or bleeding, go to the emergency room right away. If you have any other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, contact a healthcare provider right away. The earlier an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated, the better.