Symptoms & Signs
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Low back pain
- Mild cramping on one side of the pelvis
- Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
If the area of the abnormal pregnancy ruptures and bleeds, symptoms may get worse. They may include:
- Feeling faint or actually fainting
- Intense pressure in the rectum
- Pain that is felt in the shoulder area
- Severe, sharp, and sudden pain in the lower abdomen
Internal bleeding due to a rupture may lead to low blood pressure and fainting in around 1 out of 10 women.
Diagnosis & Tests
The health care provider will do a pelvic exam, which may show tenderness in the pelvic area.
Tests that may be done include:
- Pregnancy test
- Quantitative HCG blood test
- Serum progesterone level
- Transvaginal ultrasound or pregnancy ultrasound
- White blood count
A rise in quantitative HCG levels may help tell a normal (intrauterine) pregnancy from an ectopic pregnancy. Women with high levels should have a vaginal ultrasound to identify a normal pregnancy.
Other tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis, such as:
- D and C
Review Date : 2/21/2010
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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