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Signs Of A Tubal Pregnancy

Signs of a Tubal Pregnancy

A tubal pregnancy, also known as an ectopic pregnancy, occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube. This can be a life-threatening condition for the mother, as it can lead to rupture of the fallopian tube and internal bleeding.

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase the risk of a tubal pregnancy, including:

  • Previous tubal pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis
  • Use of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Smoking
  • Infertility treatments


The signs and symptoms of a tubal pregnancy can vary depending on the stage of the pregnancy and the location of the implantation. In the early stages, a tubal pregnancy may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms, such as:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue

As the pregnancy progresses, the symptoms may become more severe, including:

  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Pain that worsens with movement or intercourse
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Shoulder pain (due to internal bleeding)


A tubal pregnancy can be diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, blood tests, and imaging tests.

  • Physical examination: The doctor will perform a pelvic exam to check for tenderness or enlargement of the fallopian tubes.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests can measure the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during pregnancy. High levels of hCG can indicate a tubal pregnancy.
  • Imaging tests: Ultrasound and MRI scans can help visualize the location of the pregnancy and rule out other conditions.


Treatment for a tubal pregnancy depends on the stage of the pregnancy and the severity of the symptoms.

  • Medical treatment: Medications, such as methotrexate, can be used to terminate the pregnancy and prevent rupture of the fallopian tube.
  • Surgical treatment: Surgery may be necessary to remove the pregnancy and repair the fallopian tube. This can be done through laparoscopy or laparotomy.


A tubal pregnancy can lead to several complications, including:

  • Rupture of the fallopian tube: This can cause severe internal bleeding and can be life-threatening.
  • Infection: The pregnancy can become infected, leading to sepsis.
  • Infertility: A tubal pregnancy can damage the fallopian tube, making it difficult or impossible to conceive in the future.


There is no sure way to prevent a tubal pregnancy, but certain measures can reduce the risk, such as:

  • Using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Treating pelvic inflammatory disease promptly
  • Seeking medical attention if you have any symptoms of a tubal pregnancy

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience any of the symptoms of a tubal pregnancy, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome.

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