(extrauterine pregnancy) the implantation of a fertilized egg cell at a site outside the uterus. This may happen if the fertilized egg cell remains in the ovary or in the Fallopian tube or if it lodges in the free abdominal cavity. The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy, which occurs in Fallopian tubes that become blocked or inflamed. The growth of the fetus may cause the tube to rupture and bleed, causing severe haemorrhage. Early detection of the condition (e.g. by monitoring serum human chorionic gonadotrophin and transvaginal ultrasonography) allows conservative treatment in many cases; medical treatment, which preserves fertility, may also be possible. Laparoscopic surgery is the preferred surgical treatment.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.