Upon learning you’re pregnant, you may be feeling a variety of emotions: excitement, nervousness, uncertainty, etc. There may be many questions on your mind, many of them having to do with the health of your pregnancy. 

It’s important to stay up-to-date on the facts and learn about possible complications, including ectopic pregnancy.

Where is an Ectopic Pregnancy Located?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg has implanted somewhere other than the uterus, such as in one of the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy requires immediate medical attention, as it could be life-threatening if left untreated. 

Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Lower abdominal, lower back, and pelvic pain
  • Dizziness or weakness

When the fallopian tube has ruptured, a woman may experience more extreme symptoms, including:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Extreme lightheadedness or fainting
  • Sudden sharp lower abdominal pain

What Are Some Risk Factors of Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy can’t be prevented, but there are some factors that increase your risk of potentially having one. These include:

  • A previous ectopic pregnancy
  • A history of infertility
  • A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis
  • Surgery performed on the fallopian tubes
  • An intrauterine device (IUD)
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • A history of smoking
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Decreasing your risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy is possible. For example, you can choose not to smoke and try to prevent any sexually transmitted infections. 

How Do You Check for Having an Ectopic Pregnancy?

The best way to check for an ectopic pregnancy is by having an ultrasound, which allows the technician to see the location of the fetus. Ultrasounds also tell you other key information, such as whether the pregnancy is progressing, indicated by fetal heartbeat.

Mosaic Sexual Health Clinic offers free limited ultrasounds to check for these factors. Our team is here to provide you with quality care in a compassionate environment.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!