Ectopic pregnancy, whose medical term is eccyesis, is a complication in pregnancy whereby the embryo is implanted outside of the uterine cavity, often in one of the fallopian tubes. The word "ectopic" literally means "out of place". So, in simple terms, ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that happens to develop in the wrong place. Ectopic pregnancies are generally not viable, with some rare exceptions. They are also potentially dangerous for mothers as they can cause internal bleeding, which of course, is a life-threatening complication. While most of these pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes, they can also occur in the abdomen, cervix, and ovaries --where, in such cases, the ectopic pregnancy would be called abdominal, cervical, or abdominal pregnancy, respectively. Ectopic pregnancy is considered as a medical emergency, meaning, a mother can die from it if she's not treated properly.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the ovum is unable to travel down the fallopian tube and then into the uterus. This is commonly caused by a condition known as inflammatory disease of the pelvis (or PID) as well as the presence of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes or abdomen (otherwise known as endometriosis). The symptoms of this type of pregnancy are basically the same as those of a normal pregnancy. However, the mother would be in significantly more pain -- particularly in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis, and in some cases, in the neck and shoulders. Other warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy: diarrhea, drop in blood pressure, increase in pulse rate, light-headedness, nausea and vomiting accompanied by pain, pain during bathroom visits, pain in the rectum, pain on just one side of the body, paleness, unusual vaginal bleeding (heavier or lighter than usual), or fainting (when the fallopian tube ruptures, the bleeding and pain could cause the mother to collapse, in which case, it would be important to seek immediate medical attention).