ectopic pregnancies are watched closely to see whether
the embryo will become reabsorbed by the body. (This is also called expectant
If an ectopic pregnancy ends on its own, a woman
will not need medicine or surgical treatment. But an ectopic pregnancy that
does not end on its own can cause heavy bleeding that could be deadly. This is
why you have frequent checkups during expectant management.
a good candidate for expectant management, you must:
Have no symptoms, such as abdominal pain or
Understand that there is a remote risk of
fallopian tube rupture and excessive bleeding
Have decreasing levels of the blood pregnancy
hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which suggests that your body
is reabsorbing the ectopic pregnancy.
Be able to see your doctor
for frequent checkups.
Increasing abdominal (belly) pain or pelvic pain, tubal rupture that causes internal bleeding, and high serum hCG levels are reasons to stop expectant management and consider other treatment options. In these cases, medicine or surgery or both are needed. Symptoms such as shoulder pain, dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting could be signs of internal bleeding with tubal rupture.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology