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    Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms: What You Need to Know to Seek Medical Attention on Time

    Updated 21 May 2021 |
    Published 29 August 2018
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Natalia Viarenich, MD, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Lithuania
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    In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo develops outside the uterus. This condition is not common and affects about two percent of pregnancies. People who use reproductive technologies have a slightly higher rate of five percent. 

    Let’s find out more about the early signs of ectopic pregnancy. In fact, a timely diagnosis may save your ability to get pregnant again.

    Ectopic pregnancy symptoms and prognosis

    For the first few weeks, symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may overlap with normal pregnancy symptoms such as the lack of menstruation and breast tenderness. 

    Over time, other signs may develop:

    • vaginal bleeding
    • cramps in the lower abdomen, sometimes on one side
    • low back pain
    • nausea and vomiting

    Anyone who experiences these symptoms should contact a health care provider as soon as possible. If left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can lead to symptoms like sharp, severe pain in the lower abdomen, dizziness, and fainting. 

    In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous miscarriage is unlikely. If a miscarriage does happen, it is accompanied by bleeding and requires hospitalization.

    An ectopic pregnancy can’t move to the uterus. In some cases, health care providers may wait until an ectopic pregnancy resolves on its own, but this option is only possible under medical supervision in a hospital. Otherwise, laparoscopy will be offered to terminate the pregnancy and keep the fallopian tube where it was growing, if possible.

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