Pregnancy Home > Ectopic Pregnancy Information

When a fertilized egg implants itself somewhere outside the uterus, such as the fallopian tube, the pregnancy is said to be ectopic. Ectopic pregnancy occurs in about 1 out of every 60 pregnancies. Symptoms may include lower abdominal (stomach) pain, pelvic pain, and vaginal bleeding or spotting. In most cases, the condition is treated with a drug known as methotrexate; surgery may be necessary in some cases.
When diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy, healthcare providers typically start by asking a number of questions and performing a physical exam, looking for likely signs or symptoms. If an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, the healthcare provider may recommend certain tests; for example:
  • Blood tests, such as checking blood hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and progesterone levels
  • Ultrasound
  • Culdocentesis (a procedure that checks for abnormal fluid in the space just behind the vagina)
  • Laparoscopy.
(For more detailed information, click Ectopic Pregnancy. This article gives a complete overview of this condition and lists several factors that increase your risk.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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