Signs and Symptoms
Often, the first warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are pain or vaginal bleeding.
There might be pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or even the shoulder or neck (if blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy builds up and irritates certain nerves).
The pain can range from mild and dull to severe and sharp.
What are the signs of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy?
Common symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy include the following:
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, almost passing out, loss of consciousness.
- Pale complexion, clammy-feeling skin.
- Fast heartbeat (over 100 beats per minute)
- Abdominal or pelvic pain so severe that the woman can’t stand up.
How long does it take for an ectopic pregnancy to rupture?
The structure containing the fetus typically ruptures after about 6 to 16 weeks, long before the fetus is able to live on its own. When an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, bleeding may be severe and even threaten the life of the woman.
Will I know if my fallopian tube ruptures?
If the fertilized egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, it can cause the tube to rupture. Heavy bleeding inside the abdomen is likely. Symptoms of this life-threatening event include extreme lightheadedness, fainting, severe abdominal pain and shock.
Do all ectopic pregnancies rupture?
Almost all ectopic pregnancies—more than 90%—occur in a fallopian tube. As the pregnancy grows, it can cause the tube to burst (rupture). A rupture can cause major internal bleeding. This can be a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate surgery.
What causes an ectopic pregnancy to rupture?
An ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency in which a fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus. Usually, an ectopic pregnancy is situated in one of the fallopian tubes. As it grows, it can cause the tube to tear or burst. This results in dangerous internal bleeding.
What should I do if I suspect an ectopic pregnancy?
The main treatment options are:
- expectant management – your condition is carefully monitored to see whether treatment is necessary.
- medication – a medicine called methotrexate is used to stop the pregnancy growing.
- surgery – surgery is used to remove the pregnancy, usually along with the affected fallopian tube.
Does your belly grow with ectopic pregnancy?
The egg attaches in the uterus and starts to grow. But in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches (or implants) someplace other than the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube. In rare cases, the egg implants in an ovary, the cervix, or the belly. There is no way to save an ectopic pregnancy.
Can an ectopic pregnancy rupture at 4 weeks?
It is however very important that an ectopic pregnancy as the cause is excluded. The diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy may sometimes be difficult, and symptoms may occur from as early as 4 weeks pregnant and up to 12 weeks or even later.
Do ectopic pregnancies test positive?
Since ectopic pregnancies still produce the hormone hCG, they’ll register as a positive home pregnancy test. Women with ectopic pregnancies will also experience early pregnancy symptoms like sore breasts, nausea, spotting, and more.
Should I go to the ER if I think I have an ectopic pregnancy?
If you have severe pain or bleeding, go to the emergency room right away. If you have any other symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, contact your doctor or nurse as soon as you can. The earlier an ectopic pregnancy is found and treated, the safer you’ll be.
Can a ruptured fallopian tube heal itself?
A: About one in 50 pregnancies are ectopic. Many early ectopic pregnancies resolve on their own, without treatment. Some ectopic pregnancies will resolve before they produce symptoms.
What happens when your fallopian tube bursts?
In the case of a tubal pregnancy, the fallopian tube can burst and cause serious bleeding. If this happens, the fallopian tube will need to be surgically removed as this is a life-threatening emergency. Females are born with two fallopian tubes. If one is damaged or removed, the other tube should function normally.