What is an ectopic pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy is one that is growing in the wrong place. While normally the baby grows inside the uterus or womb, an ectopic pregnancy can be in the fallopian tube (where the egg and sperm meet), ovary, cervix or the abdominal cavity (the belly). Ectopic pregnancies in the fallopian tube are the most common; they are also called tubal pregnancies.
Would I have any unusual symptoms if I had an ectopic pregnancy? You should pay attention to any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain centered on one side of the abdomen or pelvis
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or blackouts
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Bleeding from the vagina may or may not be present
Will a doctor need to do any tests?
Symptoms can be confusing, so a doctor may recommend several tests depending on your symptoms. A sonogram (ultrasound) may show that a baby is not in the uterus, even though you had a positive pregnancy test. When our nurse manager performs a limited obstetrical ultrasound, one of the things she is looking for is whether or not the baby is where she expects it to be. Beside an ultrasound, a doctor may recommend another pregnancy test or a blood test to measure protein levels.
If you have any of these symptoms or suspect you may have a tubal pregnancy, you should seek immediate care from an OB-GYN (an obstetrician-gynecologist, a doctor who specializes in pregnancy). If you do not already have a doctor or experience symptoms outside of office hours, go to an emergency room as quickly as possible. A tubal pregnancy is a medical emergency that may require surgery.
Our nurse manager can provide a pregnancy test to confirm a pregnancy, along with a limited obstetrical ultrasound to determine if the pregnancy is viable. If you think you’re pregnant, call us for a free appointment, as long as you are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. We’d love to provide you with information you need to make pregnancy plans! Questions? Send us your questions through our website, or call 871-1307.