Normally, a pregnancy develops in the womb which is also known as the uterus. When the embryo gets implanted, the ovary then starts producing a hormone called HCG which helps the baby grow. Based on the HCG level 14 days of embryo transfer, we check early pregnancy by HCG blood test. When the pregnancy test comes positive, we ask you to come for an ultrasound 2 weeks after the urine pregnancy test. If a pregnancy test is positive and we are unable to locate the pregnancy in the uterus, then we call it pregnancy of an unknown location.
In that situation, what we do is we also search for the location of the pregnancy other than the uterus, and the common location we see is the fallopian tube and the ovaries, and then if we find a pregnancy in the fallopian tube, we say it is an ectopic pregnancy in the tube. Sometimes, you also find that pregnancy is located on the uterus and in a few instances located at the opening of the womb that is the cervix and sometimes far away. We diagnose ectopic by a combination of HCG levels and ultrasound to confirm the location of the pregnancy. It is not safe for the mother to continue such a pregnancy.