Normally, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. With an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants somewhere else. An ectopic pregnancy nearly always occurs in one of the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus (fallopian tubes). This type of ectopic pregnancy is known as a tubal pregnancy. Rarely, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the abdomen, ovary or neck of the uterus (cervix).
An ectopic pregnancy can't proceed normally. The fertilized egg can't survive, and the growing tissue may destroy various maternal structures. Left untreated, life-threatening blood loss is possible. Early treatment of an ectopic pregnancy can help preserve the chance for future healthy pregnancies.
In early diagnoses an injection of the drug methotrexate may be used to stop cell growth and dissolve existing cells. After the injection, your health care provider will monitor your blood for the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). If the HCG level remains high, you may need another injection of methotrexate.
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