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Heterotopic Pregnancy

A woman with a heterotopic pregnancy has one embryo (or more) growing inside the uterus, and one embryo (or more) growing outside of the uterus. Like any ectopic pregnancy, an embryo growing in the cervix, a fallopian tube, or against the outside wall of the uterus can be dangerous for the mother and must be removed.

Early in a heterotopic pregnancy, the ectopic embryo(s) can be easily overlooked, because there are clear signs of pregnancy in the uterus. That is why it is common for the first sign to be pain from a rupture of a fallopian tube or the cervix.

Overall, heterotopic pregnancies are not common. They are most common in women who have used assisted reproductive technology (ART) to become pregnant.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of April 26, 2013

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.