An ectopic pregnancy consists of the implantation of an embryo outside the uterus, that is, in a place other than the uterus where it would normally be implanted. The embryos could implant in the fallopian tube or in the ovary, for example, but this gestation would not go to term. The embryo is not able to grow and develop outside the uterus.
Some of the possible causes of an ectopic pregnancy are smoking, contraceptives and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Among the possible causes that could be the consequence of an ectopic pregnancy are also assisted reproductive techniques such as in-vitro fertilization, either by conventional IVF or by ICSI. However, one of the advantages that we can find in these techniques is that they provide a quick diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, since the analysis of beta-hCG to confirm whether or not pregnancy exists and the subsequent transvaginal ultrasound, gives us information about the pregnancy and whether it has been ectopic.
We will suspect ectopic pregnancy if we find a positive hCG and an ultrasound where no embryonic sac is observed in the uterus. This result should be confirmed by several subsequent tests.