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Welcome, medical contents search June 19, 2013
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Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic Pregnancy

Also known as

  • Tubal pregnancy


  • An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus. The ectopic site can be a fallopian tube, ovary, or anywhere in the abdominal cavity.
  • An ectopic pregnancy is not viable and requires medical or surgical treatment.
  • Approximately 1% of pregnancies are ectopic.

    Risk factors

  • History of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Use of an intrauterine device for contraception
  • History of infertility
  • History of gonorrhea or chlamydia infection
  • History of a ruptured appendix (appendix "burst" before surgery)
  • History of a previous ectopic pregnancy
  • History of tubal surgery


  • Lower abdominal cramps
  • Missed period or painful period
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Pelvic pain
  • May have backache and shoulder pain
  • Adnexal mass
  • Positive pregnancy test


  • Blood tests
  • Serum beta-HCG (pregnancy test) at lower level than expected for a normal pregnancy
  • Imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Laparascopy

    Similar conditions

  • Acute appendicitis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Kidney stone


  • Surgical removal of ectopic pregnancy (by laparoscopy)
  • Methotrexate - a medication that can be given in place of surgery, to expel an early ectopic pregnancy

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