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Are Ectopic Pregnancies Always Located in the Fallopian Tubes?

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The Mayo Clinic defines ectopic pregnancy as when a fertilized egg implants itself somewhere other than the lining of the uterus. Of course, the fertilized egg cannot survive this way and may possibly cause damage to the reproductive organs. In extreme cases, this type of pregnancy can even cause death due to excessive blood loss.


When early signs appear in ectopic pregnancies, usually signs are identical to a normal pregnancy – missed period, nausea and fatigue. When taking a pregnancy test, it will even test positive. However, in most cases, this type of pregnancy does not have early signs or symptoms at all. The signs come later when there is:

Light vaginal bleeding
Lower abdominal pain
Cramping on one side of the pelvis
If the fallopian tube ruptures, symptoms may include:
Sharp, stabbing pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder and neck

The Mayo Clinic recommends calling 911 for emergency help when your symptoms have escalated to:

Severe abdominal pain
Heavy vaginal bleeding
Shoulder pain
A strong urge to defecate without results
Extreme lightheadedness, fainting or shock

So where does this fertilized egg land? Interestingly enough, it can implant several different places. The first being the fallopian tube – this is the organ that acts as a channel to the uterus. But then, there are rare cases where implantation happens in the abdomen, the ovary or the cervix (neck of the uterus).

What causes this condition? There are several reasons why an ectopic pregnancy may occur. Many times, it’s because the fallopian tube itself has a lot of scar tissue or is damaged. As a result, the egg cannot pass to the uterus. But what increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy even more so is if a person has had:

A previous ectopic pregnancy

Inflammation or infection – this has been found to be a major risk factor. Women who have inflammation of the tubes, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), any STD or even endometriosis are in danger of an ectopic pregnancy

Fertility problems – fertilization medications increase your risk

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.