Seek emergency medical help if you develop any signs or symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, including:
- Severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding
- Extreme lightheadedness or fainting
If you have possible signs or symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy — such as light vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain — contact your doctor. He or she might recommend an office visit or immediate medical care.
Here's some information to help you prepare, as well as what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Ask a loved one or friend to be with you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided, especially in an emergency situation. If you can, it's also helpful to jot down your questions ahead of time. Here are some basic questions you might want to ask your doctor:
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- If the pregnancy isn't located in my uterus, where is it?
- What are the treatment options?
- What are my chances of having a healthy pregnancy in the future?
- How long should I wait before trying to become pregnant again?
- Will I need to follow any special precautions if I become pregnant again?
In addition to your prepared questions, don't hesitate to ask questions anytime you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. For example:
Jan. 20, 2015
- When was your last period?
- Did you notice anything unusual about your last period?
- Could you be pregnant?
- Have you taken a pregnancy test? If so, was the test positive?
- Are you in pain?
- Are you bleeding? If so, how heavily are you bleeding?
- Are you experiencing any lightheadedness or dizziness?
- Have you been pregnant in the past? If so, what was the outcome?
- Have you had any reproductive surgery, including any that involved your fallopian tubes?
- Have you been diagnosed with any sexually transmitted infections?
- Have you had in vitro fertilization?
- What form of birth control do you use, if any?
- Do you plan to become pregnant in the future?
- Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ 0155. Ectopic pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Ectopic-Pregnancy. Accessed Dec. 9, 2014.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 24th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=1057. Accessed Dec. 9, 2014.
- Tulandi T. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of ectopic pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 9, 2014.
- Tulandi T. Incidence, risk factors, and pathology of ectopic pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 9, 2014.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 15, 2014.