Early pregnancy complications (Ectopic pregnancy/Miscarriage)

Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage are common in the first trimester, research shows that around one-fifth of pregnancy will be diagnosed as miscarriage1. Ectopic pregnancy is less common than miscarriage and affects around 1 in 100 pregnancies. Pregnant should be closely monitored and follow the instruction by obstetrician. Once appear vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain or distension, please consult obstetrician at once.

Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy means the embryo implants outside the lining of uterus. It usually occurs in oviduct, it could also occur in ovary, cervix, wound in uterus or other organs out of uterus.

Risk factors:

  •  History of surgery that caused oviduct blockage
  •  History of pelvic inflammatory disease
  •  History of ectopic pregnancy
  •  History of endometriosis
  •  In-vitro fertilization (IVF)

Ectopic pregnancy could cause abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding or sometimes no symptoms at early stage, Obstetrician will perform ultrasound to rule out ectopic pregnancy in early trimester. Ectopic pregnancy might end up in oviduct rupture and hence intraperitoneal hemorrhage which is life-threatening.

There is no prevention of ectopic pregnancy as most of the reasons are unknown. Therefore, once pregnant, pregnancy should check with an Obstetrician as soon as possible. If unfortunately diagnosed as ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy could choose to have surgery, medical treatment or keep monitoring.


Miscarriage means the fetus stop growing unexpectedly. It is very common in early trimester and the chance will be increased with maternal age.

The probability is around 10-20% for over 30’s and reaches 45% for over 40’s.

Most of the miscarriage happen before 12 weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms include abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding but sometimes with no symptoms.

Causes of miscarriage:

  •  Embryo chromosomal abnormalities
  •  Immune system abnormalities
  •  Uterus structural abnormalities
  •  Endocrine disease
  •  Thrombosis tendency

Some cases might have unknown reason.

To reduce the risk of miscarriage, you should keep a good and healthy habit, as well as regular exercise. If you have more than one time miscarriage experience, please go to visit and consult with the obstetrician as soon as possible.

  1. https://www.famplan.org.hk/zh/our-services/clinic-services/pre-marital-fertility-preparation/early-pregnancy-assessment/content