An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. This type of pregnancy is not viable beyond 6-8 weeks, leaving the foetus unformed, with no discernible limbs.
The Fiqh of It
Islamically, a pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants and grows in the uterus. For this reason, an ectopic pregnancy does not meet the legal definition of a pregnancy.
Bleeding after an ectopic pregnancy will be considered in relation to a woman’s previous menstruation (hayd) and purity (tuhr), and will not be ruled post-natal bleeding (nifas). If a woman is certain that the bleeding is a result of any surgical procedure, it will be irregular bleeding (istihada) and not hayd.
Bleeding after Ectopic Pregnancy:
- If a woman bleeds for less than 3 days, it will be istihada, as long as it is followed by 15 days of purity.
- If she bleeds for a duration between 3 and 10 days, it will be considered hayd, as long as it is followed by 15 days of purity.
- In either situation, if there isn’t a gap of 15 days, she should refer back to her written record for her place of habit to determine which days will be hayd or istihada.
- If the bleeding was more than ten days, she should refer back to her bleeding habit to determine which days are hayd and istihada.
If her habit was seven days before the pregnancy and she bleeds for 20 days following the ectopic pregnancy, the first seven will be considered hayd and the rest will be istihada.
After an ectopic pregnancy, a woman bled for 5 days, was pure for 10 days and then started bleeding again. As the purity between the two bleedings is less than 15 days, all 17 days days will be considered continuous bleeding. In this situation, she should refer back to her bleeding record. For example, if her hayd habit before pregnancy was 7 days, the first 7 days after the ectopic pregnancy will be considered hayd and the remaining 9 days will be istihada.