Ectopic Pregnancy - Diagnosis

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please share the events that led to a diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

How is ectopic pregnancy diagnosed?

The first step in the diagnosis is an interview and examination by the doctor. The usual second step is to obtain a qualitative (positive or negative for pregnancy) or quantitative (measures hormone levels) pregnancy test. Occasionally, the doctor may feel a tender mass during the pelvic examination. If an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, the combination of blood hormone pregnancy tests and pelvic ultrasound can usually help to establish the diagnosis. Transvaginal ultrasound is the most useful test to visualize an ectopic pregnancy. In this test, an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina, and pelvic images are visible on a monitor. Transvaginal ultrasound can reveal the gestational sac in either a normal (intrauterine) pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy, but often the findings are not conclusive. Rather than a gestational sac containing a visible embryo, the examination may simply reveal a mass in the area of the Fallopian tubes or elsewhere that is suggestive of, but not conclusive for, an ectopic pregnancy. The ultrasound can also demonstrate the absence of pregnancy within the uterus.

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect specific hormones; the beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta HCG) blood levels are also used in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. Beta HCG levels normally rise during pregnancy. An abnormal pattern in the rise of this hormone can be a clue to the presence of an ectopic pregnancy. In rare cases, laparoscopy may be needed to ultimately confirm a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. During laparoscopy, viewing instruments are inserted through small incisions in the abdominal wall to visualize the structures in the abdomen and pelvis, thereby revealing the site of the ectopic pregnancy.

Return to Ectopic Pregnancy

See what others are saying

Comment from: Scared, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I was just told yesterday that I have an ectopic pregnancy. We were so excited to be pregnant. I had originally scheduled an appointment with an obstetrician/gynecologist as I have had issues with ovarian cyst like symptoms for years and we wanted to make sure I could have children. We have not been using protection and this last weekend I missed my period and took three pregnancy tests that all came back positive. I am so glad that I had the appointment scheduled because I continued to have what I thought was ovarian cyst like symptoms. I went into the exam room and the provider said, let's do a transvaginal ultrasound. He said I am indeed pregnant but he thought it is ectopic. My heart shattered and I didn't hear anything else of what was said. They sent me to the lab and told me they would call me the next day and tell me what the next steps are. I am so scared, depressed, and lost. I still haven't heard from them and can't quit worrying!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: kristag, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I didn't even have a clue I was pregnant. I woke up and thought I had gas pain. The pain got progressively worse throughout the day until, about 5 hours later I was literally writhing on the floor with pain. My friend took me to the emergency room, they informed me that a urine pregnancy test came back positive and that they would send me home to let it "resolve itself". I refused and asked for a second opinion. The second doctor agreed to admit me, I was in the worst pain I have ever experienced! Later that evening after being admitted, they checked my hemoglobin and realized that I was bleeding internally and rushed to emergency surgery. I would have surely bled to death internally because I ruptured my tube, thank goodness I insisted on being admitted.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!