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• Implantation of a fertilized ovum outside

the uterine cavity, most commonly in the

fallopian tube.
• Good maternal prognosis with prompt
diagnosis, appropriate surgical
intervention, and control of bleeding.
• Poor fetal diagnosis (rare incidence of
survival to term with abdominal
• About 33 % chance of giving birth to a
live neonate in a subsequent pregnancy.
• Incidence: about 1 to 200 pregnancies in whites; about 1 of 120
pregnancies on nonwhites.
• Complications: rupture of fallopian tube, hemorrhage, shock,
peritonitis, infertility, disseminated intravascular coagulation,
and death.


• Transport of a blastocyst to the uterus is delayed.

• The blastocyst implants at another available vascularized site,
usually the fallopian tube lining.
• Normal signs of pregnancy are initially present.
• Uterine enlargement occurs in about 25% cases.
• Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormonal levels are lower
than in uterine pregnancies.
• If not interrupted, internal hemorrhage occurs with rupture of the
fallopian tube.


• Congenital defects in the reproductive tract

• Diverticula
• Ectopic endometrial implants in the tubal mucosa
• Endosalpingitis
• Intrauterine device
• Previous surgery, such as tubal ligation or resection
• Sexually transmitted tubal infection
• Transmigration of the ovum
• Tumors pressing against the tube

Assessment findings

• Amenorrhea
• Abnormal menses (after fallopian tube implantation)
• Slight vaginal bleeding
• Unilateral pelvic pain over the mass
• If fallopian tube ruptures, sharp lower abdominal pain, possibly
radiating to the shoulders and neck.
• Possible extreme pain when cervix is moved and adnexa
• Boggy and tender urine
• Possible enlargement of adnexa

Test Results

• Serum hCG is abnormally low; when repeated

in 49 hours, the level remains lower than the
levels found in a normal intrauterine
• Ultrasonography may show an intrauterine
pregnancy or ovarian cyst.
• Culdocentesis shows free blood in the peritoneum
• Laparoscopy may reveal a pregnancy outside the uterus.


• Initially, in the event of pelvic-organ rupture, management of

• Diet determined by clinical status
• Activity determined by clinical status
• Transfusion with whole blood or packed red blood cells
• Broadspectrum I.V. antibiotics
• Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
• Laparotomy and salpingectomy if culdocentesis shows blood in
the peritoneum; possibly after laparoscopy to remove affected
fallopian tube and control bleeding.
• Micro-surgical repair of the fallopian tube for patients who wish
to have children.
• Oophorectomy for ovarian pregnancy
• Hysterectomy for interstitial pregnancy
• Laparotomy to remove the fetus for abdominal pregnancy.

Nursing Interventions

• Determine the date and description of the patient’s last

menstrual period.
• Monitor vital signs for changes.
• Assess vaginal bleeding, including amount and characteristics
• Assess pain level
• Monitor intake and output
• Assess for signs of hypovolemia and impending shock
• Prepare the patient with excessive blood loss for emergency
• Administer prescribed blood transfusions and analgesics.
• Provide emotional support.
• Administer Rh (D) immune globulin (RhoGAM), as ordered, if the
patient is Rh negative.
• Provide a quiet, relaxing environment
• Encourage the patient to express feelings of fear, loss, and grief.
• Help the patient develop effective coping strategies.
• Refer the patient to a mental health professional, if necessary,
prior to discharge.