What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?

When an embryo implants itself outside of the uterus, it is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy, with “ectopic” meaning “out of place.” Most often, the embryo attaches itself to the fallopian tube.

If left untreated, ectopic pregnancies can pose severe health risks, including internal bleeding and life-threatening complications.

Understanding the signs of an ectopic pregnancy is crucial for early detection and prompt medical intervention. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms that may indicate an ectopic pregnancy and how they differ from what you might expect during a typical pregnancy.

Typical Pregnancy

In a typical pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. This secure implantation is essential because it starts the formation of the placenta. The placenta is a vital organ that provides the baby with nutrients and oxygen, supporting its growth and development throughout the pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

When the embryo develops outside of its usual location in the uterus, this is known as an ectopic pregnancy. These pregnancies occur most commonly in the fallopian tubes but can also occur in other areas, such as the ovary, abdominal cavity, or cervix.

This condition is dangerous because as the pregnancy grows, the risk of the fallopian tube rupturing increases, which can lead to severe complications.

Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Without an ultrasound, it can be difficult to detect an ectopic pregnancy immediately. Typically, symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy begin to appear between the 4th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, you might experience symptoms such as:

  • A missed period and other common signs of pregnancy
  • Lower abdominal pain, often on one side
  • Vaginal bleeding or brown, watery discharge
  • Shoulder tip pain
  • Discomfort during urination or bowel movements

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Prompt care is crucial to ensure your safety.

No-Cost Pregnancy Services

Ohana Health provides no-cost pregnancy services, such as pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, to help you get informed about your pregnancy and potential complications like ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage and learn about your options.

By staying informed, you can ensure timely and appropriate care, safeguarding your health and well-being.

Reach out to us to get a no-cost and confidential appointment.

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