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It’s important to identify any issues that can affect your health when you’re pregnant and be aware of pregnancy complications that can affect both your health as well as your baby’s. One of these pregnancy complications that you should identify early on is an ectopic pregnancy.
What is an ectopic pregnancy?
Let’s start off by understanding what the term ectopic pregnancy means. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted outside of the womb, most commonly in one of the fallopian tubes. When an egg gets stuck in the fallopian tube, it causes pregnancy difficulties as it will not develop into a baby and there could be health risks if the pregnancy continues.
Signs of ectopic pregnancy
In most cases, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy symptoms include the following:
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal cramps
- Pain on the side of your body
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Discomfort when peeing or pooping
Can a baby survive an ectopic pregnancy?
Unfortunately, there is no chance of a baby surviving an ectopic pregnancy and it is important to identify an ectopic pregnancy as soon as possible to prevent it from affecting your health. An ectopic pregnancy can lead to a rupture or burst in the fallopian tube which can include intense pain and severe bleeding. If these symptoms occur along with fainting, dizziness, or severe pain on one side of your belly, seek immediate medical care.
Causes of ectopic pregnancy
- Have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Smoke cigarettes
- Are older than 35
- Have a sexually transmitted infection
- Have scarring from pelvic surgery
- Had a previous ectopic pregnancy
- Use fertility drugs
- Had fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)
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