Pregnancy Home > Early Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms

More than half of all women who experience the condition have no early ectopic pregnancy symptoms and signs. In fact, they often don't know anything is wrong until a rupture occurs. If present, early symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy can include lightheadedness, vaginal bleeding, and pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis.

An Overview of Early Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs

There are no symptoms that are considered "absolute" early ectopic pregnancy symptoms. In fact, more than 50 percent of women with an ectopic pregnancy have no symptoms at all until it ruptures. However, given the seriousness of an ectopic pregnancy, if you experience any potential symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, you should call your healthcare provider right away so that the problem can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Specific Symptoms of Early Ectopic Pregnancy

Classic early ectopic pregnancy symptoms, if present, include:
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (stomach), pelvis, or even the shoulder or neck. Ectopic pregnancy pain is present in more than 90 percent of cases, although not necessarily early on. The pain can vary; however, if the ectopic pregnancy has ruptured, the pain is often described as long-lasting, throbbing pain to intense, shooting pain.
  • Late menstrual period. This is present in up to 90 percent of cases.
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting. This is present in up to 80 percent of cases.
Up to 25 percent of women have shock symptoms as the first sign of an ectopic pregnancy. These symptoms include:
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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