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Woman's New Life Clinic

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What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?

October 24, 2023

What Is Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy is a non-viable pregnancy that occurs when a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, typically in a fallopian tube. It happens in about 2% of pregnancies and can pose a life-threatening risk.

Early detection can help women receive treatment quickly and prevent complications like a ruptured fallopian tube. An ultrasound is the only way to determine whether you have a viable pregnancy in the uterus.

Are you pregnant but haven’t had an ultrasound yet?

Schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment at Woman’s New Life Clinic. You may be eligible to receive a free ultrasound, which can determine the location and viability of your pregnancy, as well as tell you exactly how far along you are. All of this information is important to know before you make a decision regarding your pregnancy. If you have an ectopic pregnancy, taking the abortion pill could lead to further life-threatening complications.

How Does an Ectopic Pregnancy Happen?

The uterus is the only organ meant to support a growing pregnancy. It can stretch from the size of a lemon to a watermelon during pregnancy and then shrink down afterward.

In a normal intrauterine pregnancy, a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. Here, the pregnancy can safely grow and develop through the full term. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, where it cannot safely grow.

The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is in a fallopian tube. If the fallopian tube is inflamed or misshapen, the fertilized egg can get stuck on the way to the uterus. Hormonal imbalances or defects in the development of the fertilized egg might also play a role in causing an ectopic pregnancy.

If a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube and grows, it could eventually cause the fallopian tube to rupture, leading to life-threatening bleeding.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

While an ectopic pregnancy only happens in about 1 in 50 pregnancies, it’s critical to know when to go to the emergency room, just in case.

If you experience severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding, extreme lightheadedness or fainting, or shoulder pain, seek emergency medical help.

Visit Woman’s New Life Clinic

Woman’s New Life Clinic offers pregnancy confirmation, ultrasound exams, gynecologic care, STI/STD testing and treatment, well-woman care, professional counseling, and more.

If you’re in the midst of your pregnancy or just found out, we can provide early medical services at our safe women’s healthcare clinic. Call us today at either our New Orleans or Baton Rouge location.