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Ectopic Pregnancy - Symptoms

An early ectopic pregnancy often feels like a normal pregnancy. A woman with an ectopic pregnancy may experience common signs of early pregnancy, such as:

  • A missed menstrual period.
  • Tender breasts.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Increased urination.

First signs of an ectopic pregnancy may include:

  • Vaginal bleeding, which may be light.
  • Abdominal (belly) pain or pelvic pain, usually 6 to 8 weeks after a missed period.

As an ectopic pregnancy camera.gif progresses, though, other symptoms may develop, including:

  • Belly pain or pelvic pain that may get worse with movement or straining. It may occur sharply on one side at first and then spread throughout the pelvic region.
  • Heavy or severe vaginal bleeding.
  • Pain with intercourse or during a pelvic exam.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting (syncope) caused by internal bleeding.
  • Signs of shock.
  • Shoulder pain caused by bleeding into the abdomen under the diaphragm. The bleeding irritates the diaphragm and is experienced as shoulder pain.

Symptoms of miscarriage often are similar to symptoms experienced in early ectopic pregnancy. For more information, see the topic Miscarriage.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 26, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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