Do you know what an ectopic pregnancy is? This occurs when the fertilized egg implants OUTSIDE of the uterus. The most common site is in a fallopian tube. How would I know if I had an ectopic pregnancy? Most women with ectopic pregnancy present with bleeding and lower abdominal pain. Bleeding can range from scant brown discharge to period-like bleeding. Some women don’t have any pain, which is why if you’re having bleeding early in a pregnancy we want to know about it so we can rule out more serious causes, like this one! What would make it more likely for me to have an ectopic pregnancy? We know women with certain people are at higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy, this includes women who have: - Had a previous ectopic pregnancy - Are pregnant with an intrauterine device inside the uterus - Tubal-ligation (‘tubes tied’) - Previous history of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - History of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) How do we diagnose an ectopic pregnancy? We will do blood tests to check the pregnancy hormone level. If it is low, we will check every 2-3 days to make sure it’s rising appropriately. We will also check your blood type and blood count. If your pregnancy hormone is high enough (~ 2000 IU/L for ), we will do an ultrasound to try to see if we can see a pregnancy growing in your uterus. If a pregnancy is confirmed to be in your uterus, we are reassured. It is EXTREMELY rare for you to have a pregnancy in your uterus AND a pregnancy going outside of your uterus. If a pregnancy is confirmed to be growing OUTSIDE your uterusthen an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed. How do we treat? There are generally to treatment options for an early ectopic pregnancy, either medication (Methotrexate) that stops the pregnancy from growing, or surgery to remove the pregnancy. Why do we treat? Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy is not a viable one. As it starts to grow and expand, if it’s growing in the Fallopian tube there is a risk of the tube rupturing, and this can be life threatening. Did you know what an ectopic pregnancy was before you read this post?