Ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition. In such instances, a fetus is growing inside of a woman’s fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. Once a tubal pregnancy occurs, it cannot be changed to a traditional pregnancy; medical abortion is the only choice. Some women die from ectopic pregnancy because they did not realize what was going on until the fallopian tube ruptured.
Tubal pregnancies happen less in less than 1 percent of pregnancies and are much more common among women over the age of 35. Women with a history of reproductive system problems or even complications from a ruptured appendix are also at heightened risk of ectopic pregnancies.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding and lower back pain are two prominent signs of tubal pregnancy. Symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that typically accompany any type of pregnancy are also likely to occur. Pain in the lower belly or pelvic region may indicate a tubal pregnancy or a serious complication with a traditional pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy pain usually occurs only on one side of the body.
Several symptoms including rectal pain, sudden sharp pain in the abdominal area, and general weakness may indicate that a fallopian tube has ruptured. If a woman receives prompt medical help, a skilled surgeon may be able to preserve the woman’s future ability to successfully conceive and deliver a child. However, only about one-third of those with advanced tubal pregnancies are able to successfully have future children. The age of the woman as well as her general health will usually determine future fertility.