Ectopic Pregnancy

by: Kyra Best 12.5.12 Block 2

Description of Disorder

Normally, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. With an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants somewhere outside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy typically occurs in one of the fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.

Cause of Disorder

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg gets stuck on its way to the uterus If it's a tubal pregnancy it is because the fallopian tube is inflamed, damaged or misshapen. In some cases the specific cause of an ectopic pregnancy remains unknown.

Symptoms of Disorder

Early signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are an missed period, breast tenderness and nausea. The first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are abdominal or pelvic pain and light vaginal bleeding. If blood leaks from the fallopian tube, there might be shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement

Treatment of Disorder

If the ectopic pregnancy is detected early, an injection of the drug methotrexate is used to stop the cell growth and dissolve any existing cells or is treated with laparoscopic surgery.

Prognosis of Disorder

One out of three women who have had an ectopic pregnancy are later able to have a baby but another ectopic pregnancy is more likely to occur. Some women do not become pregnant again.

Population Affected by Disorder

All sexually active women are at some risk for an ectopic pregnancy. Risk factors increase with any of the following conditions:

  • advanced maternal age of 35 years or older
  • history of pelvic surgery, abdominal surgery, or multiple abortions
  • history of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • history of endometriosis
  • conception occurred despite tubal ligation or IUD
  • conception aided by fertility drugs or procedures
  • smoking
  • previous ectopic pregnancies
  • history of sexually transmitted diseases


  • Selner, Marissa. "Ectopic Pregnancy." Healthline. N.p., 16 July 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: MedlinePlus." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
  • "Ectopic Pregnancy: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.