An ectopic pregnancy takes place outside the uterus and is non-viable. When this occurs, medical attention is necessary and provided to women for their health and safety.
What’s the Difference Between an Ectopic Pregnancy and a Normal Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg becomes attached to an area outside the uterus. It often attaches to a fallopian tube but may also become fixed on an ovary, abdominal cavity, or cervix.
Ectopic pregnancies are non-viable, meaning they cannot and will not continue to grow or thrive.
This is unlike a normal pregnancy because a typical, healthy pregnancy takes place in the uterus, where a fetus can be sustained and continues to develop as usual.
How Do I Know if I Have an Ectopic Pregnancy?
The only way to confirm an ectopic pregnancy is by receiving a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. This non-invasive imaging procedure can see where a pregnancy is located and ensure it is taking place within the uterus and, therefore, not a risk to the woman’s life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms that can take place earlier on are:
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Shoulder pain
- Urge to have a bowel movement
Symptoms that require immediate, emergency care are:
- Extreme lightheadedness
How Is an Ectopic Pregnancy Treated?
Medical attention is necessary to treat an ectopic pregnancy. For example, if the pregnancy grows within a fallopian tube, there is a risk of rupture, and heavy bleeding can ensue.
Depending on factors such as the symptoms presenting and the time of discovery, ectopic pregnancies will be treated by one of these three methods:
- Laparoscopic procedures
- Emergency Surgery
Can an Ectopic Pregnancy Still Be Treated After the Overturning of Roe v. Wade?
Yes, according to the recent letter from The Secretary of Health and Human Services, health care providers are to use clinical judgment and take life-saving measures for women who experience any pregnancy complication, including but not limited to ectopic pregnancies.
What are my next steps?
If you wish to confirm the health of a pregnancy or would like to discuss all your options, we welcome you to contact us today.
We provide free, confidential appointments that offer pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and options counseling to guarantee you receive the care you deserve!