Raising awareness of ectopic pregnancies

Date published: 25 June 2018

The Gynaecology Assessment and Early Pregnancy Unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital will be hosting a fundraiser tea party on Wednesday (June 27) to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.

The team are hoping to shine the spotlight on the subject of ectopic pregnancy whilst enjoying a cup of tea and cake with patients and staff.

The tea party will take place at 10am on the Gynaecological Assessment Unit F2 and is open to all staff and patients.

All funds raised will go to the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.

Ectopic pregnancy is a common, life threatening condition that is the leading cause of death in early pregnancy.

It affects 1 in 80 pregnancies in the UK and women who suffer have to face the physical trauma of major invasive treatment, their own mortality, the impact on their future fertility and the sad loss of losing their baby all very quickly.

This can be a very frightening and distressing experience.

Put simply an ectopic pregnancy means “an out-of-place pregnancy”.

It occurs when a woman’s ovum (egg), that has been fertilised, implants (gets stuck) outside the womb.

The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the fallopian tube, but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located.

"It is, sadly, not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy into the womb to allow it to grow normally.

Claire Winters, Clinical Nurse Specialist on the unit, said: “Ectopic pregnancies affect around 12,000 women a year.

"Sometimes there aren’t any symptoms and it may only be picked up on a routine pregnancy scan.

"That’s why it’s important that we try to raise awareness and help women spot some of the symptoms.”

Where there are symptoms, these can include a combination of:

  • A missed period and other signs of pregnancy 
  • Tummy pain low down on one side
  • Vaginal bleeding or a brown watery discharge
  • Pain in the tip of your shoulder
  • Discomfort when passing urine or opening your bowels.

However, these symptoms aren't necessarily a sign of a serious problem.

They can sometimes be caused by other conditions.

The advice from health professionals is to seek advice from your GP or NHS111 if you have a combination of any of these symptoms and get checked out.

An ectopic pregnancy can be serious, so it’s important to seek medical advice early.

If you would like to find out more information about ectopic pregnancy and the support available, visit the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust website: