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Ectopic pregnancy

In an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants itself outside of the womb (usually in the fallopian tubes) instead of within the womb.

Fertilised eggs cannot develop into a baby outside of the womb (also known as the uterus).

What are the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy?

The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy tend to develop between the 4th and 12th weeks of pregnancy, but it will not always cause symptoms.

Ectopic pregnancies can be detected during routine pregnancy scans.

They can be serious, so speak to your GP, pregnancy unit or call 111 as soon as possible if you’re pregnant (or might be pregnant) and experience a combination of:

These above signs aren’t necessarily a sign of something serious, but you should still seek medical advice.

Seek immediate emergency help from 999 if you experience a combination of:

  • a sharp, sudden and intense pain in your tummy
  • feeling very dizzy or fainting
  • feeling sick
  • looking very pale

Following an ectopic pregnancy

Losing a baby can be difficult, both physically and emotionally, but there is no right or wrong way to feel.

If you or your family are struggling to come to terms with the loss, speak to your GP about getting professional support or counselling.

You may also benefit from free support provided by the following groups:

Useful links

Tommy’s- Ectopic pregnancy information and support

NHS- Ectopic pregnancy

Page last reviewed: 23-02-2022

Next review due: 23-02-2025