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How can ectopic pregnancy be diagnosed?

Q: I am a 29 years old female experiencing irregular spotting. My gynaecologist fears that it could be an ectopic pregnancy. I have been experiencing mild pain on the right side of the lower abdomen and I have also experienced a cramp like pain there just a few weeks back. How can ectopic pregnancy be diagnosed?

A:You need to have an USG for assessing the pregnancy. If the uterus is empty and there is a mass or free fluid in the peritoneal cavity, it can be an ectopic in which case you will need a surgery, laparoscopic or by open laparotomy, for treatment. The offending tube will have to be removed and contraceptives given after the surgery at the time of discharge. If the scan is uncertain, a serum Beta HCG test or even a simple urine pregnancy test will help. A negative or low positive pregnancy test supports the diagnosis.

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