Ectopic Pregnancy – Types – Symptoms – Treatment

ECTOPIC PREGNANCY  (Extra-uterine pregnancy)

Ectopic literally means “in an abnormal place“.

As the name indicates, Ectopic Pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants to another place rather than the uterus.

When ovulation occurs, the egg releases from one of the ovaries and travels down to the uterus through fallopian tubes. During this journey of a non-fertilized egg, if intercourse happens, then the egg may encounter the sperm and get fertilized before reaching the actual place i.e. the uterus.

The uterus is a specially designed organ for the implantation and growth of a zygote. It’s walled i.e. endometrium thickens considerably to provide protection and required nourishment to the zygote until the formation of the placenta.

When a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, it won’t get the required protection and nourishment which is essential for pregnancy. Hence it will not be able to survive.


It is classified according to the location of a fertilized egg implantation.

The more common types are:

  1. TUBAL PREGNANCY: Egg implanted in fallopian tubes. It is the commonest of all. Most ectopic pregnancies are tubal.
  2. NON-TUBAL ECTOPIC PREGNANCY: Egg implanted in other areas such as ovaries, cervix or intra-abdominal region.
  3. HETEROTROPHIC PREGNANCY: The co-existence of ectopic and intrauterine pregnancy. It’s a very rare case to have a twin pregnancy where one embryo is implanted to some other place while the other is implanted in the uterus.


  •  Classic signs of pregnancy (nausea, breast tenderness, missed periods, etc.)
  •  Light vaginal bleeding
  •  Lower abdominal pain on one side
  •  Shoulder pain
  •  Pain while urination and defecation


  •  Sudden, very sharp abdominal or pelvic pain
  •  Dizziness or fainting
  •  Looking extremely pale

** Normally, an ectopic pregnancy could not be proceeded. The fertilized egg cannot survive anywhere except the uterus, and if not treated, tissues will start growing and can cause excessive bleeding which may be life-threatening. **


Sometimes fertilized eggs get dissolved by themselves, so doctors will carefully monitor.

If it doesn’t get dissolved, then there are 2 options

1.  Pharmaceutical Treatment: A powerful injection will be given to stop the egg growth and terminate the pregnancy.

2.  Surgical Treatment: If the fallopian tube gets burst due to pressure of growing egg, surgery is very essential. A fertilized egg will be removed, and in some cases affected fallopian tube will also be removed.


The couple is usually very concerned about getting pregnant after Ectopic Pregnancy.

The answer is YES! A woman can conceive after that and can deliver a full-term healthy baby.

But it is very important to give your body proper time to heal before trying for the next pregnancy.



Losing a pregnancy can be a terrible feeling for both father and mother. But as the mother usually goes through treatment and surgery, it’s very common for her to feel devastated, stressed, or depressed. Usually, the feelings of despair improve with passing time, but it’s necessary to give yourself and your spouse time to grieve and support to overcome this traumatic experience.

If needed, the couple may seek professional psychological help and counseling as well.

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