Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo attaches outside the uterus. Many women with ectopic pregnancy have little to no symptoms. Very rarely, the fetus is able to survive.
The risk factors of ectopic pregnancy are tobacco smoking, pelvic inflammatory disease, history of infertility, prior tubal surgery, and use of assisted reproductive technology. Women with a previous history of ectopic pregnancy also have a higher risk of having another one.
About 90 percent of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube. Other sites include the ovaries, cervix, and abdomen. It can be confirmed through blood tests and ultrasound. Prevention of ectopic pregnancy is to decrease the risk factors. Management includes surgery and the use of methotrexate. Ectopic pregnancy has been estimated to occur in about 1 to 2 percent of live births and can be as high as 4 percent in those using assisted reproductive technology.
Symptom #1: Pain
Pain is caused by damaging stimuli and results in distress. It is unpleasant both emotionally and physically, and can be associated with potential tissue damage. Pain is the commonest reason for people to seek medical attention.
In ectopic pregnancy, pain can be felt in the lower abdomen or pelvis. When rupture occurs, there can be increasing abdominal pain. As the blood fills the abdomen and pelvis, there can be sharp pain that radiates up to the shoulder and neck due to the blood gathering under the diaphragm.