Ectopic Pregnancy: what it is and the symptoms

Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy can happen, but in general future fertility is not at risk, especially if the diagnosis is early. Find out what the symptoms are, the causes, consequences and how to cure them.

What is ectopic pregnancy and what are the causes and risk factors? Diagnosis? How do you intervene? Discover the answers in our study.

What is the Ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy (or ectopic) occurs when the embryo nestles outside of the uterus : in most cases (over 90%) the nesting occurs in one of the fallopian tubes, but may also occur in the abdominal cavity, in neck of the uterus or in the ovaries. This phenomenon occurs in 0.8-2% of total pregnancies .

It is a potentially very dangerous condition for the mother because as the pregnancy progresses it can cause a sudden rupture of the tuba, which can cause an important internal bleeding that can even put the woman’s life at risk. Fortunately, in many cases she stops herself very early or in any case she manages to intervene, always early, to arrest her.

Early diagnosis allows more favorable outcomes and reduces the cases in which the tuba breaks. Mortality risk is low (0.5 in 1000).

An ectopic (or ectopic) pregnancy occurs when the embryo lurks outside the uterus: in most cases (more than 90%) nesting occurs in one of the tubes, but it can also occur in the abdominal cavity, in the neck of the uterus or in the ovaries.

What are the causes and risk factors?

Extrauterine pregnancy can be favored by various factors, including an alteration of the normal anatomical structure of the tubes , previous pelvic interventions, reproductive tract infections, endometriosis , infertility or infertility treatments , advanced age of the woman, smoking of cigarette. The fact of having already had an ectopic pregnancy also increases the risk in case of subsequent pregnancies.

What are the main symptoms?

At first an ectopic pregnancy can manifest itself as a normal pregnancy, with interruption of the menstrual cycle, nausea, breast tension. Then symptoms such as:

  • more or less intense pelvic pain and cramps , even on one side only;
  • back pain, in the lumbar area;
  • blood loss.

Even in the absence of symptoms, ectopic pregnancy does not necessarily resolve spontaneously: it can still continue to develop.

What are the symptoms of a tubal rupture?

They can include:

  • sudden and intense pain in the abdomen or pelvic area;
  • shoulder pain;
  • extreme weakness, fainting.

If these symptoms occur, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

Is future fertility at risk?


Fertility is only compromised if the woman has only one tuba and its removal is necessarily necessary. It must be said, however, that with a functioning uterus and ovaries, a future pregnancy can still be obtained by means of assisted fertilization techniques .

Is the risk of recurrence high?

The relative risk of ectopic pregnancy in a woman who has already had it increases by about 7-9 times (but be careful: we still talk about rare events), but it decreases if the ectopic pregnancy follows a normal pregnancy in utero.

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