Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, and it requires several steps in a woman’s body. One step is the fertilized egg proceeds to the uterus to get attached.

In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg is not getting attached to the uterus. Instead of attaching it to the uterus, it gets attached to the fallopian tube, cervix, or abdominal cavity. It causes ectopic pregnancy and complications.

If your pregnancy test is positive and you are pregnant, the fertilized egg can grow anywhere other than the uterus.

We may see ectopic pregnancy in 1 among 50 pregnancy cases, but doctors need to treat it immediately, as untreated ectopic pregnancy may lead to medical complications and emergencies.

Immediate treatment may mitigate the risk of further complications arising from ectopic pregnancy.

Prompt treatment leads to healthy pregnancies in the future, helps reduce many complications during pregnancy and improves the pregnancy health of the mother.

An Early Warning Signal of Ectopic Pregnancy

You need to go for a thorough medical check-up during or at testing positive for pregnancy if you see the following symptoms −

  • Light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain

  • Leaking of blood from the fallopian tube

  • Frequent pain in the shoulder

  • Frequent bowel movement urge

  • Irritation in nerves and blood collects

Emergency Cases

  • Fertilised egg growing inside the fallopian tube

  • Fallopian tube rapture

  • Heavy abdominal bleeding

  • Life-threatening symptoms like extreme light-headedness

  • Fainting and shock

Ectopic Pregnancy Causes

Doctors may not know other reasons and the ectopic pregnancy causes and symptoms. However, doctors may link some causes to ectopic pregnancy.

  • Fallopian tube inflammation or scarring resulting from previous health conditions, previous infections or surgery

  • Factors involving hormones during or before pregnancy

  • Genetic abnormalities & birth-defects

  • Medical conditions responsible for the shape and condition of fallopian tubes and reproductive organs

Ectopic Pregnancy Risk Factors

  • Pregnancy at 35 or higher age

  • History of surgery, including pelvic or abdominal surgery, multiple abortions

  • History or presence of pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis

  • Conceptions with the help of fertility medications or procedures

  • Smoking

  • Previous ectopic pregnancy

  • History or presence of STDs

  • Structural abnormalities in the fallopian tube make the egg hard to proceed to the uterus

Primary Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

Primary symptoms include −

  • Intense abdominal pain waves

  • Severe sudden or gradual pain in the pelvis, shoulder tip or neck

  • Mild to moderate spotting or bleeding from the vagina

  • Feeling dizzy or fainting

  • Feeling pressure in rectal

However, some women do not see the ectopic symptoms at first. If you miss your period, have tested pregnancy positive, or have other pregnancy signs, you may suspect you have an ectopic pregnancy.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, or even if you think you are pregnant, contact your physician for further courses.

Bleeding From Vagina

It differs from your usual period of bleeding. It starts and stops. The bleeding could be watery with dark brown colour.

You make mistakenly consider it as regular period bleeding. Often, women do not understand if they are pregnant.

During pregnancy, vaginal bleeding is quite natural. One must seek medical help when experiencing the symptoms.

Pain in your Tummy

You may feel pain in the tummy as a symptom of ectopic pregnancy, low down on one side.

The nature of the pain may be sudden or gradual, persistent, or start and stop.Many reasons may cause pain in the tummy. It includes bugs in the stomach, trapped gas/wind, and may not be a symptom of ectopic pregnancy.

But it could as well be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, and you must visit your physician for a check-up to confirm the cause.

Pain in the Shoulder Tip

It typically occurs where your shoulder end and the arm begins. It is a usual pain felt on the shoulder tip.

Doctors may not tell the exact reason or the symptom of ectopic pregnancy causing internal bleeding without a test.

Get a medical check-up if you have pain at the tip of your shoulder.

Toilet Discomfort

You may feel pain when going to the toilet for a pee or poo. Symptoms like diarrhoea may be visible.

During pregnancy, some changes to the bladder or bowel pattern are natural. However, these changes can lead to stomach bugs and infections in the urinary tract.

If you see such symptoms during pregnancy, or if you think you are pregnant, consult your health specialist and discuss the treatments.

Rapture Symptoms

Sometimes, ectopic pregnancy can split open the fallopian tube if it grows large enough. It causes rapture.

It is a serious health condition during pregnancy. It would require an invasive surgical process to repair the rapture in the fallopian tube.

The surgery needs to be undergone at the earliest to prevent further tube condition deterioration or damage.

Symptoms of Rapture 

  • A sharp, sudden, intense tummy pain

  • Feeling dizziness or fainting

  • Feeling seek

Immediately call the emergency medical helpline without delay, as it could lead to severe complications during pregnancy.

Seek Urgent Medical Attention.

Seek immediate health attention from a qualified gynaecologist on a war footing if you see emergency symptoms or other ectopic pregnancy symptoms with no further delay during pregnancy in the cases of −

  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain 

  • Vaginal bleeding

  • Severe light-headedness or fainting

  • Shoulder pain 


Doctors need to treat ectopic pregnancy symptoms with utmost urgency and precaution. You may not prevent or predict the causes, but you can mitigate the risk by marinating well-maintained reproductive health.

Regular visits and check-ups of your pregnancy health conditions, including gynaecological exams and STD screening, can help prevent the causes and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.