Some pregnant women we care for may experience an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. When you're pregnant, it can be important to know the signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, which can allow you and your Genesis OBGYN provider to be as proactive as possible and ensure you get the care you need.
When Are Ectopic Pregnancies Typically Discovered?
Ectopic pregnancies are generally discovered early on, often around eight weeks, during the first trimester. If your provider notices any signs and symptoms during those first weeks, they can recommend additional screenings to confirm the diagnosis.
Unfortunately, ectopic pregnancies are nonviable. When one is diagnosed, your provider will begin the process of removing the fertilized egg through surgery or medication to support your health. We will be here every step of the way to help you through the process, both emotionally and physically.
Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancies
The first symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy can be similar to a typical one. You may miss a period, have tender breasts, or have an upset stomach and morning sickness. However, you may also experience symptoms like:
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Pain in your lower back, pelvis, or abdomen
- Dizziness or weakness
- Cramping on one side of your pelvis
If you experience any abnormal pelvic pain or bleeding, you should report these symptoms to your provider. There could be several causes that may need to be addressed. We can help you figure out what's going on and support you both physically and emotionally as you get the treatment you need.
If an ectopic pregnancy grows large enough, it can lead to a ruptured fallopian tube, which can cause life-threatening internal bleeding. If you experience sudden severe pain in your abdomen or pelvis, shoulder pain, weakness, dizziness, or fainting, go to an emergency room and contact your provider.
How is an Ectopic Pregnancy Diagnosed?
Ectopic pregnancies can be diagnosed before they become life-threatening. Your provider is here to monitor your pregnancy's progression, and they may discover signs and symptoms when performing routine prenatal tests, such as:
- Urine Test
- Blood Test
Your provider may be able to uncover an ectopic pregnancy through a urine or blood test. These tests look for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is present in your urine or bloodstream when pregnant. If you have a low amount of HCG, it can indicate an ectopic pregnancy, as these hormone levels should rise dramatically when a fertilized egg implants itself in your uterus.
Additionally, a prenatal ultrasound can uncover an ectopic pregnancy. During an ultrasound, your provider will be able to notice if the fertilized egg is implanted somewhere other than your uterus.
When diagnosing and treating ectopic pregnancies, our providers prioritize your health and offer compassionate, empathetic care.
Discuss Ectopic Pregnancy Risks and Symptoms With Your Provider
If you want to learn more or are experiencing any symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, contact your Genesis OBGYN provider. We’ll recommend and provide compassionate healthcare services to support your physical and emotional well-being. Contact us to request an appointment today.