ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ectopic pregnancy, coloured ultrasound scan. This is a pregnancy where the embryo (yellow) implants outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tube that is carrying the fertilised egg to the uterus. The growth of the embryo will rupture the tube and threaten the life of the mother through massive internal bleeding and infection. The embryo needs to be surgically removed. Delicate surgery using an endoscope can preserve tubal function, but many cases leave the Fallopian tube damaged and partial sterility results. If both tubes or ovaries become damaged, then total sterility can be the result. Ultrasound scanning uses reflected high-frequency sound waves to image internal body tissues.
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