Pregnancy Home > Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosis

In addition to a thorough physical exam and asking questions about your medical history, your doctor may decide to order certain tests in order to make an ectopic pregnancy diagnosis. Common tests include blood tests, ultrasound, and laparoscopy. The doctor will also attempt to rule out other conditions, such as threatened abortion or kidney infection, before making a diagnosis.

How Is Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, the doctor will generally begin by asking a number of questions about:


  • Current symptoms
  • History of any medical conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Contraceptive use
  • Current medications.


He or she will also perform a physical exam, looking for ectopic pregnancy symptoms. If the doctor suspects an ectopic pregnancy, he or she may recommend certain tests.


Tests Used to Diagnose Ectopic Pregnancy

Tests that may be recommended in order to help make a diagnosis include:


  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Culdocentesis
  • Laparoscopy.


Blood Tests

The doctor may order several blood tests. Among others, it may include a test looking at hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels in the blood. HCG levels that are low, that are not increasing at a normal rate, that have plateaued, or that are decreasing can indicate a possible ectopic pregnancy. Low progesterone levels may also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.



A transvaginal ultrasound, along with a pregnancy blood test, often can confirm or rule out a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. Transvaginal ultrasound allows the doctor to see an extremely small gestational sac.

Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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