An ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg remains in a fallopian tube. Because the fallopian tube might become blocked or damaged and hence fail to transport the egg into the womb. As a result, the egg implants and develops in the fallopian tube. However, ectopic pregnancies in the cervix or ovary can occur. It usually occurs during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Doctors typically identify the problem during the eighth week of pregnancy (Tulandi, 2015). The implanted egg has a difficult time surviving an ectopic pregnancy. As a result, it could rupture, resulting in a miscarriage. Moreover, the ectopic pregnancy may continue developing, which pushes away vital organs. Consequently, it causes low back pain, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and/or extreme fainting (Tulandi, 2015). It is critical to note that ectopic pregnancy can also cause death (Kumar et al., 2016; Tulandi, 2015).

Misdiagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy

The frequent misdiagnosis of ectopic pregnancy happens because its symptoms can be nonspecific. For instance, the most common symptom is having abdominal pain. However, there are various possible causes of the abdominal pain. Additionally, women can develop vaginal bleeding that may not be associated with ectopic pregnancy (Tulandi, 2015). There are severe consequences of an ectopic misdiagnosis when receiving treatment. The treatment may involve surgery or administering methotrexate. When a healthy woman receives an ectopic misdiagnosis, it may lead to miscarriage or severe congenital disabilities if the treatment involved administering methotrexate. An ectopic misdiagnosis may also lead to surgery, which enhances complications such as infertility, ongoing pain, bleeding, infection, and scar tissues that impair normal functioning. Therefore, a family nurse practitioner has the responsibility of ensuring that the patients receive the right diagnosis for an ectopic pregnancy before treatment (Tulandi, 2015).


Kumar, S.P., Pratiksha, G., Poonam, G., Alka, S., Anju, H., Kataria, S., & Tandon, R. (2016). Ectopic pregnancy: A diagnostic dilemma. International Journal of Reproduction, Contraception, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5(2), 367-370.

Tulandi, T. (Ed.). (2015). Ectopic pregnancy: A clinical casebook. Berlin: Springer.

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