An ectopic pregnancy is one which develops outside the uterus. Most ectopics are found in the fallopian tube and these are called tubal pregnancies.
Though, they can also occur at other pelvic sites and these include: the ovary; the abdomen; and the cervix.
It can be difficult to recognize an ectopic pregnancy, as it may start with the sort of signs you associate with your period starting or a threatened miscarriage, such as cramping and slight bleeding.
A woman may or may not miss her period with an ectopic pregnancy, according to the Merck Manual. Classic symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are pelvic pain and unexplained bleeding.
A woman with an ectopic pregnancy may also have classic pregnancy symptoms, such as breast tenderness and nausea. Ectopic pregnancy symptoms are also symptoms of other conditions, like a threatened miscarriage. A physician can use several diagnostic tests to determine if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy; these tests may include pelvic examination, urinalysis, blood work or ultrasound (USG).
A ruptured ectopic pregnancy’s symptoms are similar to those above, but the woman may also be lightheaded, dizzy or sweaty. She may have a rapid heartbeat and be clammy to the touch; these are signs of shock. She also may have severe abdominal pain to the point where she is unable to stand or walk.
Signs of ectopic pregnancy
Though, there are several early symptoms that can help identify an ectopic pregnancy including:
Signs of ectopic pregnancy # 1 – – Unusual vaginal bleeding. The blood is often different from your normal period – either heavier or lighter, and perhaps darker than usual and watery – some people describe it as “prune juice”.
Signs of ectopic pregnancy # 2 – – One-sided pain in the lower abdomen that is severe and persistent is a common symptom. If you experience this and you could possibly be pregnant, you should see a doctor.
Signs of ectopic pregnancy # 3 – – if the ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed early and the tube is stretched by the growing embryo to the point where it ruptures, then you may have the following symptoms:
Signs of ectopic pregnancy # 4 – – Sudden, severe pain gradually spreading out across the abdomen.
# 5 – Sweating, feeling light-headed or faint, diarrhea, or blood in your stool.
# 6 – Collapses or shock as a result of severe internal bleeding.
# 7 – Shoulder-tip pain. This can happen if there is internal bleeding which irritates other internal body organs, such as the diaphragm.
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