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Woman's ER visit for stomach pain reveals a baby growing in her bowel

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, and abdominal pregnancies, like this one, are extremely rare.
Woman's ER visit for stomach pain reveals a baby growing in her bowel
Posted at 3:51 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-12 16:52:01-05

A woman from Réunion Island in France went to the hospital with stomach cramps, only to find out she was pregnant with a baby growing in her bowel.

According to a report by the New England Journal of Medicine, the 37-year-old woman went to the emergency room complaining about stomach pain that had lasted 10 days. After doctors conducted an ultrasound, they found that she had an empty uterus and a 23-week abdominal pregnancy, which doctors classified as a "rare type of ectopic pregnancy."

As you can see from the X-Ray below, it shows a fetus not within the uterus, but rather situated atop the uterus in the abdominal cavity.

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, and these are often found in a fallopian tube. However, abdominal pregnancies, like this one, are extremely rare and account for about 1% of ectopic pregnancies, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH says these types of pregnancies pose a serious risk, with maternal mortality rates seven to eight times higher than tubal ectopic pregnancies.

Because of how risky this pregnancy is, the woman was transferred to a tertiary care hospital where they were able to care for her until doctors were able to deliver the baby via surgery at 29 weeks of gestation. 

The baby was taken to a neonatal intensive care unit, and was discharged two months later, while the mother went home 25 days after giving birth.

Doctors said that before this ectopic pregnancy, the woman had two previous normal vaginal deliveries and one miscarriage.


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