Ectopic pregnancy is a rare but life-threatening condition in which a pregnancy attaches and grows outside the uterus. 

While ectopic pregnancy is rare, certain risk factors make you more likely to experience one. 

This article will outline ectopic pregnancy, risk factors, symptoms, and how to ensure you’re not experiencing one (or confirm if you are). But if you’re looking to talk to someone about pregnancy options and free resources, contact Pregnancy Center West to schedule a free, confidential appointment.

Typical Pregnancy vs. Ectopic Pregnancy

During a typical pregnancy, once the egg is fertilized, it travels down the fallopian tube and implants in the uterine lining, where it will grow for the duration of the pregnancy. 

However, during an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants somewhere outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This is a life-threatening condition because as the pregnancy grows, it can rupture your fallopian tubes and cause internal bleeding and infection.

What Are the Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy? 

Conditions that hinder the movement of the fertilized egg in the fallopian tube can be a risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. These conditions include:

  • Having scar tissue, adhesions, or inflammation from prior pelvic surgery, including surgical abortion.
  • Having damaged fallopian tubes, such as from a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Having an irregularly shaped fallopian tube.
  • Having a growth blocking your fallopian tube.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy can feel a lot like a typical pregnancy in the early stages. However, you might also experience

  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Pain in your lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower back.
  • Dizziness or weakness.

If your fallopian tube ruptures, you might also experience: 

How Can I Know If I’m Experiencing an Ectopic Pregnancy? 

If you think you might be pregnant, the only way to ensure you’re not experiencing an ectopic pregnancy is to get an ultrasound. This simple scan will reveal the location of your pregnancy and give you other important details to protect your health. 

At Pregnancy Center West, we offer free, limited ultrasounds because we believe that you deserve to have the information you need to stay safe. Contact us today to schedule your confidential appointment.