ruptured ectopic pregnancy: 14 signs and symptoms

A little over four weeks ago, I experienced a very scary situation. I didn’t have any idea I was pregnant and suffered a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The strange part is, I’ve dealt with an ectopic pregnancy and surgery from it (removed my right Fallopian tube) before – so you would think I would know the signs.  But honestly, I had no idea what was going on. In fact, I thought I was sick from food poisoning. Turns out it was far from that.


First off, what is an ectopic pregnancy aka a tubal pregnancy? It’s a pregnancy that develops anywhere except where it should be, in the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies develop in the Fallopian tubes. The cause for the rupture is when the pregnancy outgrows the narrow confines of the Fallopian tube. The tubes can only stretch but so much and once the pressure of the growing pregnancy splits the tube, it causes heavy internal bleeding. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a true medical emergency and nothing to be messed around with. It’s the most common cause of pregnancy related deaths in the first trimester, so getting immediate medical help is critical.

I’ve talked about what happened to me in detail with a few close friends and family. Each time I share, I’m asked about the signs. In my case, I was fine one second and completely not fine the next. The onset was quick. Along with sudden pain, I’m sharing all of the symptoms I experienced in hopes that it will help you or someone you know if one day – hopefully not – it is happening to you. Time is key – my doctor gently told me post-surgery that I could have easily had a very different outcome if I had been even a few minutes late. Scary, right? The likelihood of it happening is pretty low (less than 3%) but you just never know. Knowledge is power…so be informed, know the signs and act quickly if it’s happening to you or someone you know.

These are the signs and symptoms I experienced – yours could be different. As always, if you have any questions, concerns or doubts about your health, you should call your health care provider for immediate assistance or visit your local emergency room.


ps+ I’d like to give a little shout out to my better half Hitesh for acting quick and literally saving my life.  You’re the best! xxo.

1.Bleeding/spotting –  didn’t experience this when my rupture occurred but what I thought was my cycle a few weeks before turned out to be due to the pregnancy

2. Sudden, sharp abdominal and pelvic pains – pains that can have you on your knees and doubled over

3. A baseline and constant abdominal pain and another pain that comes and goes

4. Tender to the touch abdomen

5. Distended abdomen

6. Lower back pain

7. Intense shoulder tip pain – can be both or just on one side;  due to heavy internal bleeding causing pressure on the diaphragm

8. Severe nausea – the kind that makes you wonder about what you last ate and if you’ve been food poisoned

9. Vomiting and/or diarrhea

10. Pressure in the butt or rectum area and constant urge to go to the bathroom

11. Inability to walk

12. Inability to be comfortable laying down – especially on one side

13. Dizziness

14. Feeling faint or passing out



  • Kavita

    S- you are a brave momma! Thank you for sharing your story, this is a good eye opener for those who avoid doctors all together. Its so important to be your own advocator. In this case, kudos to your husband! Thank goodness you had him around. From a medical perspective, let this teach everyone out there that your health comes first! Xoxo thank you!!!

  • Nicole Potter

    Thank you so much for this post! I had 2 doses of methotrexate and no known rupture but woke up in the middle of the night last night with 9 of the symptoms you mentioned. I don’t have a long history of listening to my body but I just knew something was wrong. Even the triage nurse at the ER asked why I “just didn’t make an ob appt since it’s so expensive” and was “probably just the methotrexate side effects.” She almost convinced me to turn around but I’m so glad I didn’t. It was ruptured and I got in for emergency surgery.

    Thank you again, your post convinced me to not waste more time before listening to my instincts…….xxo

  • Alissa McBurney

    Thank you for your post. In september 2017, my doctors missed by ruptured ectopic. It was mistaken for a miscarriage and had I not scrolled through google I would have lost my life that night. I had been through an ectopic and a normal pregnancy before this. All 3 pregnancies very different from the next. After calling my OB for the third time and questioning her, I found your post, I prayed and then my husband drove me to the hospital. I am forever grateful for your post. I had all 14 symptoms and was in surgery just hours after reading. Thank you Chai Momma! Xoxo

    • Shraddha

      Thank you for sharing story. This is so touching and I am so happy that this post helped you. It’s a scary situation to be in and I am grateful that this post made you realize that this was in fact a real emergency. Sending lots of love and hugs. xoxo.

  • Deepshikha

    I am recovering from ectopic pregnancy surgery……I just want to share that don’t use morning after pill…..I got this problem only because I took this pill.

    • Shraddha

      Thanks for the info, Deepshikha! Hope you are recovering well.

  • Linda

    Yes i believe what Deepshika said i took the day after pill and ended up pregnant with ectopic. I had two shots of methotrexate. Hcg levels were really low (367). I had 8 of these symptoms listed above after the shot went straight to the ER and my left tube was ruptured. I have no children yet I’m only 25 and Devestated.

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