Symptoms & diagnosis
Some women don’t have any obvious signs or symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. Others have symptoms that can easily be mistaken for something else, like a stomach upset, irritable bowel syndrome or even appendicitis.
But common symptoms are:
- vaginal bleeding that’s different from a normal period (sometimes more watery)
- pain low in the abdomen, perhaps just on one side
- pain in the tips of the shoulders
- diarrhoea and perhaps vomiting; or pain when opening your bowels or passing urine
- feeling dizzy or faint
I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right with this pregnancy and at 6½ weeks I doubled up in excruciating pain.
How is ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?
It can be difficult to diagnose ectopic pregnancy. Unless you are extremely unwell, the first steps are usually:
- a medical history, where you’re asked about symptoms, other pregnancies etc
- a pregnancy test (urine or blood)
- an ultrasound scan or scans
- blood tests, sometimes repeated over several days – and perhaps
- a laparoscopy
- a ‘keyhole’ examination done under a general anaesthetic
- if an ectopic pregnancy is seen, it is usually removed at the same time.
You can read about the treatment of ectopic and more here.