Symptoms of Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancy
Q: Do you get the same symptoms, like nausea and swollen breasts, when you
have a tubular pregnancy? Can you get pregnant after having a tubal ligation?
Dr. Donnica: If you have had a tubal ligation and you think you
are pregnant, call your doctor ASAP! You must be seen TODAY.
Pregnancy after tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) is rare, but when it
happens it is usually a "tubular" or "ectopic" pregnancy.
That means it's not implanted in the uterus (womb) and it is not a viable pregnancy.
It must be removed as early as possible (either with a medication called methotrexate
or by laparascopic surgery) in order to prevent serious and life-threatening
risks to the mother.
Yes, you can have all the symptoms of a normal pregnancy with an ectopic pregnancy,
although you may not have any symptoms at all. Once an ectopic pregnancy grows
to a certain size and side, women may have moderate to severe pain on that side
along with dizziness, light-headedness, headaches, vomiting and other symptoms.
Many times this is confused with appendicitis if the pain is on the lower right
Having had an ectopic pregnancy in the past greatly increases a woman's risk
for another ectopic pregnancy.
If your doctor suspects you might have an ectopic pregnancy, s/he will most
likely order a blood pregnancy test. If that test is negative, s/he will pursue
other explanations for your symptoms. If that test is positive, s/he may order
a pelvic ultrasound to see if the location of the pregnancy can be identified.
If it is too early to tell if the pregnancy is inside or outside the uterus,
the doctor may recommend frequent repeat blood pregnancy tests to monitor your
HCG levels (a hormone produced by the growing pregnancy) to see if the fetus
is growing normally. By 6 weeks gestation, an ultrasound should be able to confirm
the location of the pregnancy.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Donnica Moore MD
Created: 6/13/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.