- ectopic pregnancy
- A pregnancy in which the fertilized ovum is implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube (so-called tubal pregnancies), but implantation can also occur in the cervix, ovaries, and abdomen. An abdominal pregnancy or heterotopic pregnancy is rare, but a few, fabulously rare (about 1:60,000,000) cases are documented as coming to term; in the other instances, the mother dies first; an abdominal pregnancy is the supreme obstetrical emergency. All are treated by surgery where the life of the non-viable fetus is sacrificed for that of the mother.