DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ectopic pregnancy. Excised fallopian tube showing a developing foetus in an ectopic pregnancy. The foetus is about eight weeks old; its surrounding amniotic sac can be seen against tissue of the fallopian tube. The scale reference is in centi- metres. In ectopic pregnancy, the embryo implants outside the uterus and most commonly this occurs in one of the fallopian tubes or, more rarely, in the abdominal cavity or cervix. As the pregnancy progresses the enlarging foetus may damage or rupture surrounding tissues causing serious bleeding. Once discovered ectopic pregnancies require emergency treatment. Surgery is performed to remove the foetus and the damaged tissues.
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