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Need advice for ectopic pregnancy
November 26, 2007 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Ectopic (tubal) pregnancy?

There is a strong possibility I have an ectopic pregnancy (where the fetus implants in a location other than the uterus). I am going for an ultrasound tomorrow to determine exactly where the fetus is.
I would like to know about the experience if you have had an ectopic pregnancy, such as: what was the treatment like? Did you go on to have a successful pregnancy?
posted by FergieBelle to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I haven't had an ectopic pregnancy, but a close friend of mine did. In her case the pregnancy had to be terminated. I don't believe there's a way to save an ectopic pregnancy. However, my friend did conceive again within six months and carried her baby to term.

Best of luck.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:18 PM on November 26, 2007


Well, my wife had an ectopic pregnancy several years ago. I will tell you that it was a very trying, very difficult experience. She was advised afterwards that she was at an increased risk for further tubal pregnancies in the future, and that was one of the main things that led us to decide that I should get a vasectomy. I almost hesitate to say any of this though, because, from what I understand, each experience is quite different, and you should really talk to your doctor about this kind of stuff. If you would like info about more specific aspects of your case (or of ours), MeFi Mail me, but I really don't wait to paint a full picture for you of something that might never come true.

What I will say is you should probably try and get whatever kind of support system you have (husband/partner, family, friends) up to speed and in place so they can help you through what is likely to be (at least) a stressful time. Good luck.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:24 PM on November 26, 2007


I would caution against overplaying any anecdotes you might get here. There is a LOT of variability depending on the circumstances as to how an ectopic pregnancy is best managed (expectantly versus medically versus surgically with multiple possible techniques) and what was the case for a random internet stranger may really not apply to you at all. Moreover there is a very high degree of variability in the reported literature in regards to future risk of recurrent ectopics or successful pregnancies. Rates of recurrence range, if I recall correctly, from 5-25% but don't quote me on that as it's highly dependent on the amount of damage to the tube itself, among other factors. Two or three responders here might give a dangerously small sample to draw any real conclusions.

I know you have an appointment already, and it's getting clicke on AskMe, but really in your particular case, the best person to answer this question is an expert who has seen your ultrasound (or later may have actually seen the tube in surgery if that is the case). They will know a) if you have an ectopic, b) where it is, c) how large it is, and d) possibly what your tubes look like. Without this info in your specific case and the appropriate expertise, it's very hard to get reliable answers.

On preview, I second Rock Steady's advice, and will agree that his family's experience may or may not apply to you depending on the circumstances.
posted by drpynchon at 5:34 PM on November 26, 2007


That's cliche, not clicke.
posted by drpynchon at 5:35 PM on November 26, 2007


According to The Mayo Clinic the only option is to remove the embryo.

Anecdotally, my mother suffered a rupture due to this a few years after I was born and almost died. This was in 1984 however.
posted by Octoparrot at 5:54 PM on November 26, 2007


I am terribly sorry to tell you that if the pregnancy is in fact ectopic, your choices are a) have the embryo removed, or b) die.

I would opt for a.

Nthing getting support from spouse and doctor. I know this does not help right now, but at least this proves you and your significant other *can* conceive (again). Good luck.

Thinking hugs and thoughts of wellness at you (and hoping it isn't really ectopic!).
posted by ilsa at 6:37 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


From what I understand ilsa is correct. Variability issues with ectopic pregnancy are those involving rates of recurrence, depth of implantation, how urgently the surgery is needed, etc. But the baby cannot be brought to term, and indeed the mother and fetus will die before it ever reaches a viable stage.
posted by schroedinger at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2007


i'm not a doctor, but my understanding about ectopic pregnancies is that they almost never come to term because they either miscarry naturally or have to be terminated to save the mother's life.

i would second the above advice to seek out the support of friends and family in case the news is not good tomorrow. i sincerely hope something else is causing your symptoms, and send you wishes of good health.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:57 PM on November 26, 2007


I could be reading this wrong, but it seems like the asker wants to know "did you go on to have a LATER successful pregnancy," not "did you save this one."
posted by GaelFC at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2007


My best friend had an ectopic pregnancy three years ago and she miscarried. She learned later on that she had two uteruses (with a tissue running between the two) that had to be surgically removed before she could try to get pregnant again.

Her daughter Jane is a little over a year old now and stunningly cute and smart.

My hopes and prayers are with you that you and your significant other will have an outcome as successful as my best friend did... keep your spirits up and lean on the people who love you.

If you find out it's not ectopic... let us know, I personally will have my fingers crossed for the good news!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:45 PM on November 26, 2007


She learned later on that she had two uteruses (with a tissue running between the two) that had to be surgically removed before she could try to get pregnant again.

As an anecdote, my grandmother had four successful pregnancies with a bicornuate uterus. All were more than a month premature but survived to adulthood (all were born between 1946 and 1956).

That the condition would now be surgically corrected never occurred to me until I read that.
posted by Cricket at 8:07 PM on November 26, 2007


I had one, which was treated with a shot of Methotrexate. I went in for blood draws for several weeks afterwards so the doctors could be sure that the pregnancy was ending. I would say that my hormone levels were a little wacky for awhile afterwards. I did go on to have a successful pregnancy a few months later.
posted by gnat at 8:36 PM on November 26, 2007


I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2004. Unfortunately, it was only found out on the day it ruptured, and I had to have emergency surgery. Despite having only one tube, several months after that, I became pregnant again & had a healthy daughter in 2005.

I found the website & forums of the UK-based Ectopic Pregnancy Trust to be very helpful.

Good luck to you.
posted by mogget at 9:28 PM on November 26, 2007


I just finished transcribing an interview with a woman who, among other things, had an ectopic pregnancy. Afterwards, she did go on to have three children. Relevant excerpt follows:

They gave me methotrexate that dissolved it. But for like a month I didn't know. They can't really tell for a while. It could be just sort of a slow pregnancy, or a miscarriage, so for like a month I was going in and having tests done.
posted by laughinglikemad at 9:35 PM on November 26, 2007


As an anecdote, my grandmother had four successful pregnancies with a bicornuate uterus. All were more than a month premature but survived to adulthood (all were born between 1946 and 1956)....
posted by Cricket at 8:07 PM on November 26 [+] [!]


Most bicornuate uteruses are not actually two uterueses: complete duplication of everything would be an extreme case. Bicornuate literally means "two horns" and most bicornuate uteruses look like they have two horns at the top. Women with bicornuate uteruses are statistically more like to have miscarriages and have tcomplications with pregnancy, but it is far from a sure thing: many deliver with no problems.

Having a tubal pregnancy doesn't say anything about the state or shape of your uterus since the egg never got a chance to implant there.

If you do get a shot of methotrexate, be aware that you will still test positive for pregnancy for some time. You should have regular bloodwork to make sure the methotrexate is working and your HCG levels continue to drop.
posted by Violet Hour at 12:08 AM on November 27, 2007


I'm sorry you may have to go through this. I've found the discussion on the www.altdotlife.com forums reassuring and helpful in the past. I don't share the feelings of everyone posting there, but there are a lot of intelligent and sympathetic women doing their best to share practical information that can be hard to come by from 'official' sources on those boards. You'll need to register to get to the pregnancy and miscarriage boards.
posted by melisande at 8:25 AM on November 27, 2007


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