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Pregnancy Facts: What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancies are dangerous and emotionally difficult. Dr. Obosa Osawe walks you through all you need to know.

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An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. It is considered a medical emergency because continuing the pregnancy can endanger the mother's life. I am Dr. Obosa Osawe. Here are three things you must know about an ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants low in the cervix, in the fallopian tubes, the ovaries or in the abdomen. Signs of an ectopic pregnancy include frequent bleeding, cramping, especially if you have cramping more on one side of your abdomen than the other. Certain women are at higher risk for ectopic pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you've had pelvic infections in the past, have had infertility treatments, a prior tubal ligation or if you got pregnant with an intrauterine device in place. If discovered early enough, an ectopic pregnancy can be terminated medically, that is without surgery. If the pregnancy is farther along however, it will have to be terminated surgically. This is a decision that your physician will make with you. Finally, if you've had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, it is possible to carry it to term in the future. More than half of women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy do go on to have a healthy pregnancy.