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Ectopic Pregnancy


Overview :

Once a month, an egg is produced in a woman's ovary and travels down the fallopian tube where it meets the male's sperm and is fertilized. In a normal pregnancy the fertilized egg, or zygote, continues on its passage down the fallopian tube and enters the uterus in three to five days. The zygote continues to grow, implanting itself securely in the wall of the uterus. The zygote's cells develop into the embryo (the organism in its first two months of development) and placenta (a spongy structure that lines the uterus and nourishes the developing organism).

In a tubal ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg cannot make it all the way down the tube because of scarring or obstruction. The fallopian tube is too narrow for the growing zygote. Eventually the thin walls of the tube stretch and may burst (rupture), resulting in severe bleeding and possibly the death of the mother. More than 95% percent of all ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube. Only 1.5% develop in the abdomen; less than 1% develop in the ovary or the cervix.




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