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What is an ectopic?

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside the normal environment of the uterus.
Usually the embryo attaches and develops in the fallopian tube, but can also develop in the abdominal cavity or cervix.

Ectopic pregnancies occurs in about 4% of IVF pregnancies.


Diagram showing the  egg  released from the ovary ,fertilization and becoming implanted in the fallopian tube wall

Assuming the embryo grows in size, the embryo can cause rupture of the organ to which it is attached and results in internal bleeding.
An ectoptic pregnancy never goes to term.

Today with ultrasound monitoring of  pregnancy, diagnosis is prompt and is detected very early.
The treatment is mainly surgical* usually laparoscopy to remove the embryonic tissue

Unfortunately, in many cases there is irreversible damage to the fallopian tube and may have to be also removed.

*although chemical methods of reduction are also used.