Ectopic pregnancies and how to deal with it.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

When a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, it’s called an ectopic pregnancy. About

1 in 50 pregnancies is ectopic. There’s no way to transplant an ectopic (literally, “out of

place”) pregnancy into your uterus, so ending the pregnancy is the only option.`

How does it happen?

After conception, the fertilized egg travels down one of your fallopian tubes on its way to

your uterus. If the tube is damaged or blocked and fails to propel the egg toward your

womb, the egg may become implanted in the tube and continue to develop there.

If an ectopic pregnancy isn’t recognized and treated, the embryo could grow until the

fallopian tube ruptures, resulting in severe abdominal pain and bleeding. This can cause

permanent damage to the tube or loss of the tube, and if it involves very heavy internal

bleeding that’s not treated promptly, it can even lead to death. That’s why early

diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care are so important.

How is it diagnosed?

Ectopic pregnancy can be tricky to diagnose. If your symptoms suggest this type of

pregnancy, your caregiver will begin by doing an ultrasound together with a blood test to

try to confirm the diagnosis.

Can I have a successful pregnancy after I’ve had an ectopic one?

Yes. The earlier you end an ectopic pregnancy, the less damage you’ll have in that tube

and the greater your chances will be of carrying another baby to term. And even if you do

lose one of your tubes, you can still become pregnant without the help of fertility

procedures as long as your other tube is normal.

How can I deal with my sense of loss?

You may feel devastated by your experience. You’ve just lost a pregnancy, and it may

now be more difficult for you to conceive again. You may also be recovering from major

surgery, which can leave you exhausted and numb or suffering from hormonal ups and

downs that may leave you feeling depressed and vulnerable.

You’ll need time to recuperate emotionally and physically before trying to get pregnant

again. Most caregivers will advise you to wait at least three months after major

abdominal surgery for your body to heal.

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