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Ectopic Pregnancy
(GY005)

Introduction


Ectopic pregnancy (EP) (also called tubal pregnancy) occurs when a fertilized egg (ovum, embryo) implants at a site other than the endometrial lining of the uterus. The incidence of EP in 1992 was 108,000 or 19.7 per 1000 reported pregnancies. Four of out 10 ectopic pregnancies occur in women between 20 to 29 years old. Over 75% of these cases are caught before the 12th week of pregnancy.

With an EP, the embryo implants outside the uterus but continues to grow and expand. Occasionally, the ectopic pregnancy will simply deteriorate spontaneously and will be absorbed by the body. However, it can rupture, and if it is inside the fallopian tube (as the majority are), the tube may also rupture if not treated in time. This can cause many serious problems, especially bleeding, infection, infertility, and even death. Therefore, early diagnosis and assessment of the woman's condition is critical in determining the appropriate care to maintain her safety and health.

The goals of treatment for EP are the preservation of the mother's safety, and the protection of her reproductive ability. The woman's condition must be ascertained to determine if immediate surgical intervention is required, or if a more conservative approach may safely be taken.

Treatment may include medications or surgical intervention.

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