What Does An Ectopic Pregnancy Feel Like?

An ectopic pregnancy often occurs in the fallopian tube, which carries eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy is called a tubal pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy also can occurs in other body areas, like the abdominal cavity, ovary, or the lower part of the uterus attached to the vagina.

An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed commonly. This is because the fertilized egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding if left untreated.

I have already shared a post related to this topic Ectopic Pregnancy Back Pain I hope you read this post.

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What does an ectopic pregnancy feel like?

You may not feel any symptoms of ectopic pregnancy at first. However, some women may feel the usual early signs or symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, including:

  • A missed period
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Nausea

Must read: How long After Missed Period Take Pregnancy Test?

Early warning of ectopic pregnancy

  • The often warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy are mild vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain.
  • If blood flows from the fallopian tube, you can feel shoulder pain or an urge to have a bowel movement. Your specific symptoms are depended on where the blood collects and which nerves are irritated.

I also wrote a tutorial on Healthy Pregnancy Week By Week that you can follow.

Emergency symptoms

  • If the implanted egg continues to grow in the fallopian tube, it can cause the tube to rupture and starts heavy bleeding inside the abdomen. Symptoms of this life-threatening experience include extreme light headedness, fainting, and shock.


A tubal pregnancy is the most basic type of ectopic pregnancy. It happens when an implanted egg gets stuck on its way to the uterus because the fallopian tube is damaged by inflammation.

Hormonal imbalances or abnormal growth of the fertilized egg also play a role.

To learn more, you can read this post: What is Uterine Abnormalities?

Ectopic pregnancy miscarriage

In many cases of ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg dies quickly and, your system breaks the fertilized egg down before you miss your period or after you experience some slight pain and bleeding. Thus Ectopic pregnancy can lead to miscarriage.

In these cases, an ectopic pregnancy is rarely diagnosed, and it is assumed to be a miscarriage. Therefore, nothing needs to be done in these circumstances.

Must read pregnant women: How Many Abortions in 2021?

Ectopic pregnancy without bleeding

However, suppose you experience typical pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, painful breasts, or a swollen abdomen but no bleeding or pain. 

In that case, this does not completely rule out an ectopic pregnancy, although this is rare. A true period should be normal flow and duration for you.   

I also wrote a tutorial on Lower Abdominal Pain Pregnancy that you can follow.

Risk factors

Some conditions that make you more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Previous ectopic pregnancy. If you’ve had this type of pregnancy before, you’re more likely to have another.
  • Inflammation or infection. Sexually transmitted infections can cause inflammation in the tubes and increase your risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Fertility treatments. Some research suggests that women in vitro fertilization or similar treatments are more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy. Infertility itself can also raise your risk.
  • Tubal surgery. Surgery to repair a damaged fallopian tube can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Choice of birth control: If you get pregnant with an IUD in place, it’s more likely to be ectopic. Tubal ligation, a permanent method of birth control commonly known as “having your tubes tied,” also raises your risk if you become pregnant after this procedure.
  • Smoking: Smoking just before you get pregnant can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. The more you smoke, the higher the risk.

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Side effects after ectopic pregnancy surgery

You may notice some mild abdominal pain after the treatment, though this should not be severe. Other occasional side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sensitivity to light or 
  • Feelings of fatigue

Very rarely, it can affect the liver or blood counts.


There are no alternatives to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, but here are some ways to decrease your risk:

  • Limiting the number of sexual partners and using a condom during sex helps prevent sexually transmitted infections and may reduce the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Don’t smoke. If you do, stop before you try to get pregnant.

Read: Sex In Pregnancy


Sadly, there is no possibility that your pregnancy can survive. The loss of your pregnancy is likely to make you feel very sad. In addition, this may be the first time you have heard about this condition, and you may also feel shocked, confused, and anxious about the future.

Allow yourself time to recover physically and emotionally before trying to get pregnant again. It is recommended that you wait for at least three months for your body to recover. You are the best judge of the time needed for your emotional healing.

I tried to cover as much as I could for ectopic pregnancy, but if you still have a question in your mind, feel free to give us comment.

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