Ectopic Pregnancy

3 Treatment Approaches for Tubal or Ectopic Pregnancy

When people think of the treatment for an ectopic, or tubal, pregnancy, they tend to think of the worst case scenario -- a ruptured fallopian tube and emergency surgery.


Although the latter is certainly possible and can occur in ectopic pregnancies that develop undetected for too long, not all newly diagnosed ectopic pregnancies are automatically considered medical emergencies. When the diagnosis comes early enough in the process, other possible treatments exist.


With this brief review, learn the treatment approaches doctors may suggest to patients after diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy.Watchful Waiting for a Tubal Pregnancy


If blood tests show that the hCG level in the blood is falling, chances are that the ectopic pregnancy is already in the process of miscarrying and the doctor may merely monitor the woman s hCG to make sure it continues to drop.Medical Management With Methotrexate


If doctors detect the ectopic pregnancy early enough before it threatens to rupture the fallopian tube, a drug called methotrexate can be effective treatment. This drug is usually given if the hCG level is below a certain limit and there is no risk of imminent rupture.


Methotrexate is also used in chemotherapy and works to stop rapidly growing cells from multiplying. The drug is administered as an injection.


Research has found methotrexate to be an effective treatment for early ectopic pregnancies, preventing the need for surgery about 90 percent of the time when the woman is a candidate for the treatment. When using methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancy, doctors usually continue to monitor a woman s hCG levels as well in order to make sure that the ectopic pregnancy is not continuing to develop.


If your doctor says that you re not a good candidate for methotrexate, ask why. Make sure the physician has explored this option before signing you up for surgery. Surgery to Repair the Tube


Surgery is the final possibility in treatment of an ectopic pregnancy. If the ectopic pregnancy is continuing to develop and is posing a threat of rupture, or if it has already ruptured, surgical treatment is the default and unavoidable. In addition, in non-emergency situations, some women may prefer surgical treatment over using methotrexate in cases when the doctor offers a choice.


In surgical treatment of an ectopic pregnancy, the doctor operates to remove the pregnancy tissue from the fallopian tube. The surgery may involve laparascopy. Sometimes there is no way to repair the damage to the fallopian tube and the doctor must remove the affected tube.


If this happens, ask what possible effect this might have on your fertility. Will it take you longer to get pregnant with just one working tube? Will you likely need IVF to get pregnant as a result? Know what to expect, so you re not blindsided after surgery. Trying to Get Pregnant Again After Ectopic Pregnancy


Regardless of treatment method, women who have had an ectopic pregnancy are at increased risk for having another ectopic pregnancy, so it s important to check in with a doctor early along in the next pregnancy.


Hajenius, P.J., F. Mol, and B.W.J. Mol, Interventions for tubal ectopic pregnancy. Cochrane Reviews Nov 2006. Accessed 23 Jun 2008.


Lipscomb, Gary H., Marian L. McCord, Thomas G. Stovall, Genelle Huff, S. Greg Portera, and Frank W. Ling, M.D. Predictors of Success of Methotrexate Treatment in Women with Tubal Ectopic Pregnancies. NEJM Dec 1999. Accessed 23 Jun 2008. Continue Reading Up Next Up Next Article How Do Doctors Diagnose Ectopic or Tubal Pregnancy? Up Next Article What Are the Symptoms and Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy? Up Next Video Signs You Might be Pregnant Up Next Article Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms and Questions Continue Reading List Can You Get Pregnant Again If You Had a Tubal Pregnancy? Article How Do Doctors Diagnose Ectopic or Tubal Pregnancy? Article What Are the Symptoms and Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy? Article Ectopic Pregnancy Symptoms and Questions Article Can the Baby Be Saved in an Ectopic Pregnancy? Article What Causes Ectopic Pregnancies and What Are the Risk Factors? Article What Does No Gestational Sac On My Ultrasound Mean? List 10 Things You Didn't Know About Miscarriage Article How to Choose a Miscarriage Treatment Plan That's Right for You Article Could Cramping During Pregnancy Signal a Heterotopic Pregnancy? Article What You Need to Know about Egg Implantation in Pregnancy List Early Pregnancy: What Do Your hCG Levels Mean? Article Are You at Risk of Another Miscarriage? Article Do Doctors Ever Misdiagnose a Miscarriage? Article Your Guide to Understanding Molar Pregnancy Article What to Do If You Think You Are Having an Early Miscarriage An about.com brand Daily Health Tips To Your Inbox Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Please enter a valid email address. Thank you for signing up. Follow Us Conditions Living Well Family Health Care About Us Advertise Privacy Policy Careers Contact Terms of Use 2016 About, Inc. All rights reserved.


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