Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Ectopic Pregnancy

What happens if an embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus? This is an ectopic pregnancy -- a life-threatening condition that requires emergency treatment. It may occur in up to one of every 50 pregnancies.

An ectopic pregnancy usually occurs when the embryo implants in one of the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. This is why doctors sometimes call it a tubal pregnancy. In rare cases, the embryo attaches to an ovary or other organ in the abdomen.

Ectopic pregnancy happens most often within the first few weeks of pregnancy. You might not even know you're pregnant. But doctors usually discover it by the 8th week of pregnancy.

Rest assured: If this happens to you, it's likely you can go on to have a healthy pregnancy in the future.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Common signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include:

If the fallopian tube ruptures, the pain and bleeding can be severe enough to cause fainting.

If you experience the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor right away. Then go straight to the emergency room. Quick care at the hospital can reduce the risk of severe bleeding. It can also help preserve your fertility.

Causes of an Ectopic Pregnancy

A damaged fallopian tube may not allow the fertilized egg to pass to the uterus. This can cause the egg to implant in the fallopian tube or somewhere else.

You might not ever know what caused an ectopic pregnancy. But these factors increase your risk:

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy