Ectopic pregnancy is a complication that occurs early in a pregnancy where the embryo implants prior to reaching the uterus. The reasons for ectopic pregnancy are unclear, but it is a relatively infrequent complication of pregnancy.
Diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy may be difficult early on, but common symptoms include some of the following:
- Pain in the Lower Abdomen
- Pain During Bowel Movements
- Pain While Urinating
- Mild Vaginal Bleeding
Types of Ectopic Pregnancy
There are four types of ectopic pregnancy that differ primarily by the location of the embryo outside of the uterus.
The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy. In this situation, the embryo is implanted in the fallopian tube. In a tubal pregnancy, there is a very serious risk internal hemorrhage.
This is a very rare type of ectopic pregnancy in which two eggs are fertilized, one of which does not travel the entire way to the uterus.
Nontubal ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo settles in the ovary or cervix.
Persistent Ectopic Pregnancy
Persistent ectopic pregnancy may occur after the complication has been detected and removal has been performed. In many cases, removal may leave behind some portion of the embryo which can continue to grow.
Risks of Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy
If an ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed and treated early, the potential injuries may include hemorrhage, and loss of the fallopian tube. If a patient is admitted to a hospital with symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and not treated correctly, she may suffer serious injury and the loss of the ability to have a child.
Medical Malpractice and Hospital Liability
If a patient admitted with symptoms of ectopic pregnancy is not tested adequately, then the hospital and/or doctor may be held liable for any resulting damages. A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed forcing the hospital to pay monetary damages for the pain and suffering and metal trauma, as well as any lost income and medical expenses.