What is an ectopic pregnancy?
In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg implants in the uterus (also called the womb). In an ectopic (say: "ek-top-ik") pregnancy, the fertilized egg does not make it to the uterus and implants somewhere else (see drawing below). An ectopic pregnancy most often occurs in the fallopian tube, causing a “tubal pregnancy.” It can also occur in the ovary, cervix or abdomen.
It is important to find the ectopic pregnancy in its early stages. An ectopic pregnancy can rupture or damage the pelvic organ that it is implanted in. This can be very dangerous for the mother.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff