Ectopic pregnancies are the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the first trimester
in the United States. Ectopic pregnancies occur in 2 percent of pregnancies
and can cause fatal complications if treatment is delayed or if it is
never diagnosed.

Reports found that two-thirds of pregnant women suffering from ectopic
pregnancy received an incorrect or delayed diagnosis. This can cause serious
and fatal complications in pregnant women. To prevent
pregnancy-related injuries and complications from an ectopic pregnancy, medical professionals recommend
women receive an ultrasound on the same day if they experience uterine
bleeding or abdominal pain in their first trimester.

It is vital to have an ultrasound the same day the patient experiences
symptoms to make sure an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed as soon as possible
to prevent any complications and death. An ultrasound is done to find
the location of the pregnancy and fetus. While it is important to perform
an ultrasound, many do not diagnose an ectopic pregnancy but can rule
out other complications.

When an ultrasound does not show the location, a woman’s serial quantitative
levels should be tested to see if the pregnancy is normal or abnormal,
which can help diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. Women with an abnormal level
should have a uterine aspiration to test for placental tissue in the uterus.
If there is no placental tissue, doctors should treat the patient for
an ectopic pregnancy.

It is very important to diagnose and treat an ectopic pregnancy as soon
as possible to prevent a
uterine rupture. A rupture can reduce fertility as well as increase the chances of death.
Ectopic pregnancies can cause fatal complications in women, which is why
it is vital for doctors to test for ectopic pregnancy as soon as possible
and why it is so important for pregnant women to receive a same-day ultrasound
in their first trimester if they are experiencing pain or bleeding.

Source: Ob.Gyn. News, “Get same-day ultrasound if pregnant, bleeding,”
Sherry Boschert, Feb. 6, 2014