6-17. ECTOPIC PREGNANCY
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized ovum implants in a location other
than the uterus. The usual site of such an implantation in an ectopic pregnancy is the
fallopian tube. When the fertilized egg becomes attached to a site other than the
uterus, it invades the tissues to which it is implanted and it forms a placenta, amniotic
sac, etc. The weakness of the placenta may allow bleeding, fetus necrosis (death), or
the fetus may develop normally. If the fertilized ovum implants somewhere in the
abdominal cavity severe damage may result to the organ against which it implants.
6-18. TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCY
Toxemia of pregnancy is a condition characterized by hypertension, edema,
proteinuria, and other variable symptoms. In its more severe form, it is called
eclampsia. In severe cases, lesions of the liver, kidney, and brain of the mother can
result. These lesions may be caused by an anti-immune process in which antibodies
attack these organs. Eclampsia may be severe enough to require termination of the
pregnancy in order to save the mother.