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Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is when a pregnancy grows outside the uterus (womb), instead of inside it. It most commonly occurs in the (fallopian) tubes but can also happen in other parts of the pelvis.

This can be dangerous as the pregnancy can rupture, causing internal bleeding that can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are lower abdominal pain (which can be one-sided) and vaginal bleeding (which can be light).

Later symptoms include shoulder tip pain, dizziness and feeling faint.

Ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed by examination, ultrasound scan and blood tests.

Sometimes there are no symptoms and It can be difficult to rule out ectopic pregnancy in very early pregnancies. In this case, close follow-up and monitoring will be required.

If your nurse or doctor is concerned about the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, it is important to report any symptoms to them, have a support person with you, stay close to home and keep your phone with you. If you have bad pain, heavy bleeding, feel faint or dizzy or have shoulder tip pain, you should go immediately to hospital.

Ectopic pregnancy can be treated with medication or surgery.

For details/advice or if you have an ectopic pregnancy, you will find more information here.





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