An ectopic pregnancy is a very serious medical condition that can jeopardize your life. This condition occurs when you have a fertilized egg that is not inside your uterus; commonly, the egg can be in your fallopian tube or elsewhere in your reproductive organs. There are several warning signs that you could have an ectopic pregnancy, and it's important for you to take action quickly. This isn't a condition that you should plan to discuss with your OBGYN at your next appointment. Instead, you'll want to have a family member take you to the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911 if you're unable to have someone transport you. Here are some indicators that you may have an ectopic pregnancy.

Heavy Bleeding

The most common major symptom of an ectopic pregnancy is that you'll bleed heavily. While some spotting can be normal at various stages of your pregnancy, the bleeding that you experience when you have an ectopic pregnancy will stand out as abnormal. Those who bleed in this manner are at risk of losing too much blood, which is why an ectopic pregnancy is such a serious health emergency. Don't brush off this issue by hoping that the bleeding will subside soon. Seek emergency care promptly.

Intense Pain

While the heavy bleeding alone should be enough to alert you to something being wrong, it's common to experience other changes in your body when you have an ectopic pregnancy. One thing that you may experience is a heavy amount of abdominal pain. In most cases, this pain will be intense enough to alert you to something being wrong; it will be more severe than the cramping that you may occasionally have while pregnant. Coupled with the bleeding, the pain is a good reason to have someone drive you to the hospital rather than you attempting to drive yourself.

Feeling Faint

The amount of blood that you can lose in a relatively short amount of time when you have an ectopic pregnancy is enough to make you feel faint. You might actually pass out from this condition, but it's also possible that you just feel dizzy and light in the head. Sometimes, your decision-making ability can suffer when you're feeling this way, and you might think that a nap could make you feel better. It's vitally important to recognize the emergency situation that you're facing and get to a hospital as quickly as you can.

For more information on when to seek emergency care, contact a professional near you.