Ectopic Pregnancy: An Explanation
During an ectopic pregnancy (sometimes called a tubal pregnancy) a fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb in contrast to a normal pregnancy where the egg implants within the uterus.
In most cases ectopic pregnancy occurs within the fallopian tube, but in some cases it can happen in the ovary, the cervix, the joint between the womb and one of the fallopian tubes (cornua) or even the abdomen.
Although rare, ectopic pregnancies occur in up to 1 per cent of all UK pregnancies. Sadly, in the huge majority of cases, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue as it can be life-threatening for the woman experiencing it. Although there have been occasional instances whereby an ectopic pregnancy resulted in a live birth, the usual result is normally a natural termination within the first few weeks of pregnancy or medical intervention to stop the pregnancy if it is discovered before rupture of the tube in which the embryo is developing.
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