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A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is the breaking or bursting of a fallopian tube that contains a fertilized egg. This can cause life-threatening bleeding (hemorrhaging) and shock.
In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, which easily expands as the fetus grows. Most ectopic pregnancies implant in a woman's fallopian tube. This narrow structure is likely to rupture in the first few months of an ectopic pregnancy unless treated.
Early prenatal care is critical to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy and prevent it from rupturing.
Last Revised: May 6, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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