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Ectopic Pregnancy Q&A

Ectopic Pregnancy FAQ

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg/pregnancy implants and grows outside the womb, most commonly in one of the fallopian tubes.
  • vaginal bleeding
  • Lower tummy pain or one-sided pain
  • pain in your shoulder
  • pain when going to the toilet.
  • rapture – when an embryo gets so big that it causes fallopian tube rupture and heavy bleeding. In this case, you must seek medical help immediately.
  • previous ectopic pregnancy
  • inflammation or infection
  • fertility treatment
  • smoking
  • birth control
  • Large pelvic cyst or mass
Yes. If you take a pregnancy test, the result will be positive, even when it is an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy ultrasound is performed by having a transvaginal ultrasound. During this examination, you will be asked to lie on your back with your knees slightly bent, pointing towards your chest. You must remove all clothing from the lower part of your body as it is an internal female genitalia examination. Your ultrasound specialist gently and slowly inserts an ultrasound probe with a sterile and latex-free sheath and gel 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) into your vagina. Soundwaves from the ultrasound send images to a screen.
Ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed within the first trimester. As early as 5-6 weeks, a transvaginal Ultrasound Scan will show the pregnancy site.
Yes. The clear ultrasound gel is not toxic and is safe during your ultrasound scan. It does not stain or otherwise ruin your clothes. It has no spermicide and can be used for fertility cases without effect on sperm and conception.
In London Private Ultrasound clinic, the Ultrasound Scan takes 20 minutes.
In London private ultrasound, we verbally discuss the result of your ultrasound scan after your appointment and send it to your email on the same day.
You might be asked to drink at least one litre of water one hour before your ultrasound. Your bladder must be full for a transabdominal ultrasound scan. You will be asked to empty your bladder for the transvaginal part of the Ultrasound Scan.
A full bladder allows the ultrasound to visualise the uterus and ovaries. It pushes the gas-filled loops of the bowel out of the way and opens a viewing window to the pelvis.
There is a possibility that ectopic pregnancy is not going to be found on ultrasound due to early gestation or small ectopic hiding behind the bowel. In this case, blood tests are carried out.

Unfortunately, the pregnancy needs to be removed before it grows larger. This kind of pregnancy cannot continue as it is dangerous for your health. You might undergo one of the following:

  • surgery – to remove the pregnancy.
  • expectant management – your condition to see if the treatment is necessary.
  • medicine – to stop the pregnancy from growing too large.
Yes, many women with an ectopic pregnancy will go on to have a normal pregnancy in the future.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is usually diagnosed in the first trimester. By week 6, the embryo is big enough to be seen on ultrasound.
Heterotopic pregnancy might occur when having twins. It is a rare condition but common for couples who undergo IVF. It must be treated immediately by terminating a pregnancy that is happening outside of the womb.