If the doctor suspects an ectopic pregnancy, he or she will probably perform a pelvic exam to locate the pain and tenderness. To test for an ectopic or tubal pregnancy, human chorionic gonadutropin (HCG), is measured by a blood test called a quantitative HCG.
In a normal pregnancy, the level of this hormone approximately doubles about every two days. In an ectopic pregnancy, the rate of this increase is usually much slower. If the levels don’t increase as they should, an ectopic pregnancy is suspected.
Sometimes, though, the woman may have a high HCG level with no sign of pregnancy inside the uterus. That is why ultrasound testing is also helpful in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy.
Progesterone is another hormone that can be measured to help in the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone may indicate that a pregnancy is abnormal.