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Is this a better way to test for ectopic pregnancy?

Wellbeing of Women has awarded Professor Dharani K. Hapangama £197,039 to develop a new non-invasive, quick test for this life-threatening condition

An ectopic pregnancy, which is when a fertilised egg implants outside of the womb, is the most common reason for women dying in early pregnancy.

But, unfortunately, early symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to those of a normal pregnancy. Current tests can be time consuming and may involve invasive surgery so it’s difficult to diagnose quickly and efficiently.

This is why Professor of Gynaecology at the Centre for Women’s Health Research at the University of Liverpool, Dharani Hapangama, wants to develop a new non-invasive test for ectopic pregnancy.


Using cutting-edge technology and the knowledge of experts from around the world, her team want to create a way of rapidly identifying and diagnosing ectopic pregnancy in women with symptoms.

They believe, instead of having to have ultrasound scans or even keyhole surgery, women could simply provide a urine sample or undergo a blood test.

Once the study is completed, the test could be used in control trials and eventually rolled out throughout the UK and beyond.

With a new test like the one Professor Hapangama’s team is developing, thousands of women with suspected ectopic pregnancies could be quickly diagnosed and treated before it’s too late.

Find out more about ectopic pregnancy here.

Our health information on pregnancy and birth

As a women’s health charity, part of what we do is improve awareness and understanding of women's reproductive and gynaecological health.