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Ectopic Pregnancy

The Miscarriage Association supports families through miscarriage, including losses by way of ectopic and molar pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg develops outside of the usual place (in the uterus).   Most ectopic pregnancies occur as tubal ectopic pregnancies, where the egg remains in the fallopian tube.  

A tubal ectopic pregnancy is sadly not going to result in the birth of a baby, and whilst some do end naturally without intervention, others require medical assistance to remove.   

Ectopic pregnancies can be life-threatening if not treated early enough and can cause permanent damage to the mother, including a reduction in her ability to conceive in the future.

What to look out for? 

Some key indicators that your early pregnancy may not be progressing well include pain, bleeding, changes in bowel or bladder habits and/or shoulder tip pains, but sadly some can have no warning signs at all.  Sometimes, the first indication of an ectopic pregnancy can be an early scan or a blood test indicating that your hormone levels are not where they should be.  

If you have any concerns about early pregnancy, do see a GP urgently. 

What can be done?  

If caught early enough, a tubal ectopic pregnancy can be managed by a watch-and-wait process where you would be monitored by medical staff to see whether the pregnancy ends naturally. However, in most cases, medical management is required.  

Again, if caught early enough, medication can be given to assist the pregnancy to end without the need for surgical intervention. If the ectopic pregnancy is slightly further on, surgery will be required to remove the egg.


What happens if it is missed? 

Sadly, an ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening if allowed to develop to the stage where the egg becomes too large and causes a rupture in the fallopian tube. This becomes a medical emergency, and surgery will be required to remove the egg and repair the damage, which can result in the loss of a fallopian tube. 

At Bridge McFarland, we are joining the Miscarriage Association on their #MilesThatMatter campaign to raise awareness of ectopic pregnancy and the warning signs so that women can do all they can to avoid suffering from extreme outcomes. 

Nicola Evans, Partner at Bridge McFarland LLP, recently helped Miss X after she had presented to the hospital a number of times with signs of a tubal ectopic pregnancy that were missed and considered to have an early miscarriage. She went on to suffer days of incredible pain and suffering, emotional distress and ultimately, surgery to remove her only patent fallopian tube, rendering her unable to conceive naturally. At the conclusion of her claim, Miss X said:

I would like to say a massive thank you to Nicola for her consistent professionalism and emotional understanding during this very delicate and lengthy case. Many obstacles were faced throughout, and Nicola always explained clearly and truthfully, whilst also protecting my interests throughout.

Thank you for listening to me! The help and support provided aided me through this difficult time, listening to me, understood and acknowledged the distress we were going through.

Pleased with the outcome and look forward to fulfilling my dream of finally becoming a mother, albeit, via alternative methods, but this wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Thank you to you and your team!

If you have sadly suffered an ectopic pregnancy and have questions about your treatment, please contact our team for more support.   

The Miscarriage Association have this helpful guide.

If you are able to support the Bridge McFarland team in their sponsorship, please donate here.

Solicitor for Ectopic Pregnancy Claims

If you have reason to believe that your ectopic pregnancy symptoms were missed by your healthcare provider, whether in the NHS or under private healthcare, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Bridge McFarland’s team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have experience in supporting clients with a variety of matters, including those relating to miscarriage, birth injury, gynaecological claims, vaginal and hernia mesh claims and much more. Please click here to view a full list.

To speak to us today via a free, non-obligation consultation, please call 0800 987 8800 or email

Alternatively, for more in-depth information, please visit our dedicated medical negligence website.