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Ectopic Signs and Symptoms

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#1 Nut

Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:48 PM

The signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy:

If you think you could possibly be pregnant and experience one or more of the following symptoms, then you should go and see your doctor as soon as possible:

Pregnancy tests
These may be positive but not always, in some cases HPT's will show up as negative for a few weeks or appear to be faint. Repeated use of sensitive blood pregnancy tests can help tell doctors how the pregnancy is going on even if your urine pregnancy test is not positive or has stopped being positive. Beta HCG levels double during a normal pregnancy failure to do so indicates there is something very wrong.
Many HPT's claim they can tell if you're pregnant on the day you expect your period. But a recent study shows that most don't give accurate results this early in pregnancy. Waiting one week after a missed period will usually give a more accurate answer.


In cases of ectopic pregnancies no sign of a baby is found in the uterus, you may told that you have miscarried or it is too early to tell but an ectopic pregnancy could still be present.

Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
Cramping pain with tenderness, usually in the lower abdomen - on one side initially, though the pain can radiate throughout the abdomen and can feel simular to having a stitch. In some cases woman have describe only having mild niggling twinges, having pain that radiates from the hip down the leg, having a tummy ache and feeling pressure in the bottom.  Pain may worsen on straining of bowels (feeling of constipation), coughing or moving. If tubal rupture occurs, pain becomes very sharp and steady for a short time before diffusing throughout the pelvic region. Many feel they are having a miscarriage but this may not be the case. If you feel pain when you have your bowels open or when you pass water and think you may be pregnant you should mention this when you go for a check-up.

Abnormal bleeding
No bleeding does not completely rule out an ectopic pregnancy.  Vaginal bleeding is the first symptom in 20% of ectopic pregnancy. In most cases of ectopic pregnancies vaginal bleeding has been described as brownish, pink-tinged or bright red spotting, some say it looks simular to prune juice (slight, dark and watery). However there are cases in ectopic pregnancies where bleeding is heavy, this is usually because the tube has ruptured.
Though there can be many other reasons for vaginal bleeding in pregnancy it should not be ignored. In this case serial blood tests should be taken in suspected pregnancy or pregnancy. If vaginal bleeding occurs you should contact your GP, OB or local Emergency department.

Nausea and faintness
Nausea and vomiting occurs in 25 to 50 % of ectopic pregnancies this may be hard to distinguish from morning sickness. If tube ruptures weakness, dizziness, and a sense of passing out upon standing can represent serious internal bleeding. Other signs such as paleness (clammy skin), increasing pulse rate, diarrhoea and falling blood pressure may also be present.

Shoulder pain

This may be due to internal bleeding irritating the diaphragm when you breathe in and out. Pain has been described being around the tips of the shoulders and running up the neck. If it is accompany with any of the above symptoms please see your doctor as immediately.

Who?s at risk?

In most cases ectopic pregnancy there may be no apparent reason that it has occurred, there is nothing that could be done differently or done to prevent it, it?s just one of these thing that just happens. Ectopic pregnancy can go on from 3 weeks to 12 or in some cases even longer. If you suspect the pregnancy is ectopic and have any above symptoms please seek medical attention ASAP. As ectopic pregnancy can lead to death if not picked up.

There however been links to the following:
- Most cases are a result of scarring caused by a past infection in the fallopian tubes, surgery of the fallopian tubes, or a previous ectopic pregnancy. Up to 50% of women who have ectopic pregnancies have had inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis) or pelvic inflammatory disease.

- Some ectopic pregnancies can be due to birth defects of the fallopian tubes, endometrious, complications of a ruptured appendix, or scarring caused by previous pelvic surgery.

- Sometimes, a woman will become pregnant after having her tubes tied . Women who have had successful surgery to reverse tubal sterilization in order to become pregnant also have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

- Taking hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone (such as those in birth control pills), can slow the normal movement of the fertilized egg through the tubes and lead to ectopic pregnancy.
- Women who have in vitro fertilization or who have an intrauterine device (IUD) using progesterone also have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- The "morning after pill" (emergency contraception) has been linked to some cases of ectopic pregnancy.

Lack of signs doesn?t rule an ectopic pregnancy or you may think this is not you. So if your bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual and prolonged, or if, unlike your normal monthly period or you are just concerned consult your GP, OB or local emergency department. And remember in cases of ectopic pregnancies there is nothing you could done differently and in most cases there is no medical reason it has occurred.

This information was collected on medical information and personal experience of those who have been through it. It was collected to inform and in hope of early detection to prevent tubal loss or even death. In some cases where ectopic pregnancy has been detected before tubal rupture a medication known methotrexate can be given. (Please note methotrexate can cause birth defects; it recommended you wait 3 months before TTC again)

Frequently asked questions:

And to finish off I just wanted to put out a big thanks to the girls that put this together!! You've done a great job and I know it's been very helpful information.

#2 marthagirl

Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:46 AM

I just wanted to say thanks for putting this info up Nut. I think its very useful to have here so that people know what to look out for and also to minimise worried Googling habits blush.gif

#3 kaycee725

Posted 17 October 2008 - 01:40 AM

thanks for the information.. that is very helpful. this is very good for expecting moms. i will bookmark this for future references.

#4 mswillow

Posted 05 December 2009 - 10:25 AM

This is great! thank-u so much for putting this together. I had to have emergency surgery due to the fact that I had an ectopic pregnancy.
A lot of confusion and heartache could have been a lessened if I had known all this information.

#5 sunflowerbean

Posted 07 January 2010 - 03:14 PM

great info - thanks!

#6 mnbv

Posted 09 June 2010 - 02:41 PM

I have just had an ectopic and was wondering if there is a support group on here for this?I have looked but cant find one.


#7 twotimesastar

Posted 25 November 2010 - 04:45 PM

Support groups?

#8 *Elastigirl*

Posted 25 November 2010 - 04:53 PM

Not sure about support groups but I have had two ectopics - one in 2002 and one in 2005 - I lost both of my fallopian tubes as a result.  In the event that there isn't a support group I'd be happy to be a sounding board if you wanted to PM me.  I'm a student midwife now and it is largely because I was inspired by of all the difficulties that we had getting our family and the support I both received and didn't receive throughout my experiences.

#9 Lovemy3babies

Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:52 AM

I just wanted to thank you for having this pinned up here.

I had horrific pain on Sunday night and went to ER after looking at this page. It turned out to be ectopic. Lost a tube but at least I didn't leave it longer and lose my life.

Thank you so much!

#10 Nut

Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:17 PM


There is a support group located here: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=843118 in TTC after loss.

This group is for anyone who has gone through an ectopic, even if you may not be TTC right at this point. Lots of women post in there having just gone through it as well.

#11 miss_molly

Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:50 PM

Great information here, thank you. I suffered an ectopic pregnancy about 18 months ago, and was rushed to hospital after collapsing, after my GP diagnosed rupturing cysts. I lost one tube. But need some advice, my period is one day late, although it feels like it is coming on. I was very dizzy this morning, after an awful night of my mouth filling with excess saliva, and having to rush retching to the bathroom. I have also broken out on my face, and have been like this for 2 weeks. I am also VERY hot all the time. I did take a test 5 days ago which was negative, am I hoping for too much? I know I need to take another test, but we live out in the country, may take a few days to get to a shop. any thoughts very welcome

#12 maybe new mum

Posted 18 November 2011 - 10:04 PM

thankyou for your post nut.very helpful.we'd been told we were pregnant,only to be told a few days later it was gone.Then when the bleeding continued,only to be told we may not be as far along as we thought or it could be ectopic.the hormone levels keep increasing,but not at the right speed.Then another ultrasound said they could detect a sac inside.i think we have both resigned to the fact its gone,but we have a little hope.stressing us out.but i dont think it is ectopic though

#13 sonmat6

Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:09 AM

I have a suspected Ectopic pregnancy now. Being monitored by early pregnancy assessment centre. I've been told to hope for a miscarriage. Can anyone let me know their experiences? Did you have to have methotrexate injections? Or surgery? And how bad does the pain have to be before you go to emergency?

#14 gidgetbeach

Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:53 PM

Sorry my reply is late but hopefully I can be of help. I had an ectopic with my first IVF cycle and was monitored like you - lucky my fertility clinic made me have a PG test following AF despite my misgivings. I had it removed from my tube via laporoscopy and they saved my tube. Unfortunately they must have left a few cells which grew back so I had to have a methotrexate injection. It wasn't painful but I wasn't allowed to ttc for three months as the drug can cause birth defects. I was told not to drink alcohol too for those months. I fell PG with my boy on my next ivf cycle three months later. I've also fallen PG with #2 on my first try naturally, so my tubes must be functioning in some way now. My thoughts are with you.

#15 mummalib

Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

Just wondering if this cramping in the lower abdomen area is constant? I have had two cramps, quite low, whilst asleep that have woke me up and lasted around 1 minute or so.Not two nights in a row though! I have also had quite bad wind at night too? I'm heading back to the GP on Friday but this is playing on my mind alot. Are these the beginning of an ectopic pregnancy?

Thanks Nat

#16 Want_to_be_a_mummy

Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

Hi allI'm a bit concerned after reading this post. I am 5 weeks pregnant and I had some constipation pains and abdominal pain when opening my bowels this morning. It went away straight away but now I'm worried about ectopic. How common is this? Can these pains just happen with nor al pregnancy? Can doctors detect this early? My hcg levels tripled and the doctor said this is a good sign. Hope someone can reassure me?

#17 jemelle

Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

It is very helpul to all going to be pregnant but not sure what are the symtoms and possible to be happen before or during pregnancy. Thanks.

#18 bella1986

Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

Hi Ive just found out im pregnant and have had really sore right ovary. It hurts when i stand up, sit down, bend over, pee, poo, fart,sneeze, lift things ect. The pain is always there and gets worse when i move things. I have a doctors appt thur and im definately going to mention this but im worried its not normal and that its etopic pregnancy or ive done major nerve damage to my groin or its a cyst on my ovary.

any advice would be good

#19 zoii

Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:16 PM

Ectopic pregnancy is risky and cannot be seen in ultrasound because it is not found in uterus. It is found in fallopian tubes. Continuously vaginal bleeding is its first symptom. So women should go to gyn for proper checkup during pregnancy.

#20 SarahVandooo

Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:20 PM

What are the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy?
I have slight tummy pains atm, but I suffer from ibs so how do I tell the difference?

#21 bedeliaschli

Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:22 PM

I think this article explains the abdominal pain better. abdominal pain and symptoms charts

#22 preetianm

Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:12 PM

It is really nice information helpful for all women who wants to become mom, I really like. Thanks for these beautiful pregnancy tips.

#23 MayaAvenues

Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:59 PM

Thanks for posting

#24 Krunchie29

Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE (zoii @ 19/06/2012, 01:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ectopic pregnancy is risky and cannot be seen in ultrasound because it is not found in uterus. It is found in fallopian tubes. Continuously vaginal bleeding is its first symptom. So women should go to gyn for proper checkup during pregnancy.

not quite sure where you got this information from?? I suffered an ectopic pregnancy in Nov last year and it was discovered by ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not just for the uterus as i have had them for other abdominal issues.

depending on how far along you are, you may need an internal ultrasound as it may be too small to be seen from an external one (i was 5 weeks so had to have an internal scan)

and not all ectopic pregnancies are in the fallopian tubes, it just means its not in the uterus. Ectopic can also be in the cervix or even outside in the abdominal cavity.

continual vaginal bleeding is not necessarily the first symptom, mine was pain that got worse and very localised on my left side as that is where mine was and the pain started to radiate up my left side and into my left hip. Bleeding was actually quite minimal, just spotting really.

any pregnancy worries can be brought up with your normal doctor to begin with if you don't have access to a OBGYN. I didn't have access to either when I was having mine as it was in the evening so i called the health direct line and they said it was either an ectopic preg or threatened misscarriage and to go straight to emergency. it was there i was diagnosed and the emergency staff were brilliant.

#25 GenWhy

Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have just been diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy of caesarean scar. So nothing in my uterus or Fallopian tubes but a healthy baby in my old scar. I've been referred for possible surgery and have to have a termination. I'm absolutely beside myself. I never heard of this before. I'm terrified I will need a hysterectomy at 31 or not be able to have any more children. Does anyone know where I can get any more info from please?

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