Extrauterine pregnancy, also known as ectopic pregnancy, is a condition where the fertilized egg implants and starts to grow outside the main cavity of the uterus. The most common locations are the Fallopian tubes, but it can also occur in the cervix, ovary, or abdominal cavity. It is a life-threatening situation as the growing tissue can cause life-threatening bleeding if left untreated.

Key Takeaways

  1. Extrauterine Pregnancy also known as Ectopic Pregnancy, is a type of pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants and starts to grow outside the main cavity of the uterus.
  2. It’s a serious, life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. The fertilized egg cannot survive outside the uterus and if left untreated, can cause serious health risks for the mother.
  3. Common locations for ectopic pregnancies include the Fallopian tube, but in rare cases, they can also occur in the ovarian, cervical region or the abdomen.


Extrauterine pregnancy, also known as ectopic pregnancy, is an important term in motherhood due to the serious health risks it presents.

It refers to a condition where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube.

This situation is medical emergency as the pregnancy cannot progress normally and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding if left untreated.

Despite the pregnancy not being viable, it can have significant impact, both physically and emotionally.

Understanding this term can aid in the timely detection of symptoms and early intervention, which can potentially save the life of the mother.


Extrauterine pregnancy, more commonly known as an ectopic pregnancy, is a serious condition that can occur during early pregnancy. To understand its purpose or function, it is crucial to know that it’s not a planned or normal occurrence and doesn’t serve any beneficial function.

Instead, it’s a major health concern as it happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself in a location other than inside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. Perhaps the phrase ‘what it is used for’ needs some clarification when applied to this medical context.

In more general terms, recognizing an extrauterine pregnancy is crucial to avoid complications which can be life-threatening to the woman. Identification and appropriate management of extrauterine pregnancy helps prevent associated morbidity and mortality.

The knowledge of this condition, therefore, is used to promote timely intervention and proper patient care, and enhance survival rates.

Examples of Extrauterine pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy: This is the most common instance of extrauterine pregnancy. Here, the fertilized egg implants itself and grows outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes. It can sometimes occur in the ovaries, cervix, or abdomen too. This can lead to severe and life-threatening situations if not detected early.

Abdominal Pregnancy: This is a rare form of extrauterine pregnancy (approx. 1% of ectopic pregnancies) where the fertilized egg imbeds in the peritoneal cavity, outside the reproductive organs altogether. It can sometimes happen if an initial ectopic pregnancy in the fallopian tube bursts and the embryo reimplants itself in the abdomen.

Ovarian Pregnancy: Another rare type of extrauterine pregnancy where fertilization occurs in the ovary itself. The embryo implants on the ovary instead of traveling down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. This forms a small fraction of all ectopic pregnancies.In all of these cases, the pregnancy cannot proceed normally as the environment outside the uterus is not built to nourish and protect a growing fetus.

Frequently Asked Questions about Extrauterine Pregnancy

What is Extrauterine Pregnancy?

Extrauterine pregnancy, often known as ectopic pregnancy, occurs when a fertilized egg attaches or implants itself outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. This kind of pregnancy cannot proceed normally and it needs immediate medical attention.

What Causes Extrauterine Pregnancy?

The main cause of an extrauterine pregnancy is a condition that slows or prevents the movement of a fertilized egg through the fallopian tube to the uterus. This might result from a birth defect, multiple induced abortions, or inflammation of the fallopian tube.

What are the Symptoms of Extrauterine Pregnancy?

Early symptoms of an extrauterine pregnancy may include light vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. If blood leaks from the fallopian tube, you might feel shoulder pain or an urge to defecate. Its severe symptoms include sharp and stabbing pain which causes fainting and shock.

Can Extrauterine Pregnancy be Prevented?

There’s no guaranteed way to prevent an extrauterine pregnancy, but reducing risk factors might help. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners and using a condom to prevent sexually transmitted infections, which can increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

How is Extrauterine Pregnancy Treated?

Extrauterine pregnancy needs to be terminated. Medication can be used if it’s detected early; otherwise, surgery may be required. In some severe situations, removal of the fallopian tube carrying the affected pregnancy might be necessary.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Fallopian Tube Pregnancy
  • Cervical Pregnancy
  • Ovarian Pregnancy
  • Abdominal Pregnancy

Sources for More Information

  • Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic’s website provides a wealth of information about various health topics, including extrauterine pregnancy.
  • WebMD: WebMD is another reliable health resource that offers comprehensive articles and resources about different medical conditions, including extrauterine pregnancy.
  • Healthline: Healthline is a reliable health information resource that provides in-depth articles about a wide range of health topics, including extrauterine pregnancy.
  • MedlinePlus: MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is a reliable resource for general health information, including details about extrauterine pregnancy.