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2-6. Ecotopic Pregnancy

In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized ovum is implanted outside the uterus. The fertilized ovum may be in the fallopian tubes, the ovary, or the abdomen. Since none of these structures is able to support the growing ovum, the structure in which the ovum is growing ruptures. About 90 percent of all ectopic pregnancies occur in a fallopian tube.

Signs and Symptoms. Included are the following:

  • Severe, sudden onset of lower abdominal pain.
  • Hemorrhage -- abnormal vaginal bleeding with symptoms of pregnancy.
  • Over the uterus, a tender palpable mass can be felt.

Treatment. This is an emergency situation. Transport the patient to a medical treatment facility immediately.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015