Welcome to Laurie’s Big Blog – September 2023

Every month we will identify the most commonly asked questions about ectopic pregnancy and answer them. If you have any further questions which you cannot find answers to on the website, please can you contact us.

What does ectopic pregnancy mean?

Ectopic is derived from the Greek word ectopis meeting away from a place or at another place. Most pregnancies are in the uterus but an ectopic pregnancy is at a site outside the uterus. The most common site is the  Fallopian tube., but in rare cases, it may be in the ovary, cervix, or even in a uterine scar usually from a previous caesarean section(s). See the Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation website on sites of ectopic pregnancy.

Is ectopic pregnancy viable?

An ectopic pregnancy is non-viable as it does not result in a live neonate.

What causes ectopic pregnancy?

There are many causes for the development of an ectopic pregnancy. These include previous ectopic pregnancy, abdominal or pelvic surgery pelvic infections and endometriosis. See the Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation website for causes of ectopic pregnancy.

Can endometriosis be a contributing factor in ectopic pregnancy?

Symptoms usually occur at about 6 weeks and may comprise dark “ prune juice “ vaginal discharge and lower abdominal/pelvic discomfort or pain usually constant and on one side.  See Signs of Ectopic Pregnancy for more information.

Do cramps from ectopic pregnancy feel similar to cramps from healthy pregnancy?

Cramping pains can occur in normal pregnancies. It can also be a sign of miscarriage especially if accompanied by vaginal bleeding. The pain of an ectopic pregnancy is usually described as one-sided lower abdominal discomfort or sharp contractions in nature. See the Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation website for symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.