Ectopic pregnancy recovery: Healing takes time - Mayo Clinic
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Sign up now Pregnancy and you blog Ectopic pregnancy recovery: Healing takes time By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. March 13, 2012
I've written in the past about the pain and grief that follows the loss of a pregnancy. For women who experience an ectopic pregnancy, that pain and loss might be even more dramatic.
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. The most common type of ectopic pregnancy is one that develops in the fallopian tube. This type of ectopic pregnancy is often referred to as a tubal pregnancy.
Why is an ectopic pregnancy so difficult? It starts like any healthy pregnancy. You miss your period and usually have a positive pregnancy test. Everything seems normal. Then you might experience lower abdominal pain and slight vaginal bleeding or severe pain and heavy bleeding if the fallopian tube ruptures. The embryo can't survive outside the uterus, and there's no way to continue the pregnancy.
The signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are virtually the same as those experienced by women who are having a miscarriage. If your fallopian tube is still intact, your health care provider might not be able to tell you right away if it's an ectopic pregnancy. The diagnosis is usually confirmed with blood tests and an ultrasound but sometimes it's simply too soon to detect a pregnancy through ultrasound.
While you're waiting for the diagnosis, you might be angry because your health care provider can't tell you for sure whether you'll be able to continue the pregnancy. You might begin to mourn the loss of the baby, only to see a beating heart on the ultrasound. This can be a crushing experience. You might also fear for your future fertility.
If you're diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, prompt treatment is needed. Your health care team will be focused on the medical issues at hand especially if it's an emergency situation. It can be all too easy to lose sight of the fact that you've lost your baby or what the loss means for you.
If you have signs or symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, speak up at your appointments. Make sure you understand the tests used for diagnosis. Ask for an estimate of how long the process might take. Find out about treatment options. Is medication appropriate in your case, or will you need surgery?
After an ectopic pregnancy, remember that you need to heal physically as well as emotionally. Ask your health care provider any lingering questions you might have and expect healing to take time. Share your feelings with your partner, loved ones and other close contacts. Seek the support of other women who've experienced ectopic pregnancy. You don't have to feel alone. Many women will understand your pain.
Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. 132 Comments Posted Post a comment Your comment Your name Type the characters you see in the box below.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines. Read comments November 16, 2016 4:04 a.m.
I had an ectopic. I was for weeks. I went to the doctor and was hospitalised whilst in hospital I was on my preiods/ well spotting,I d like to think. I was then discharged and told I was fine. I went on my periods for 2 weeks then went back to the doctor for my last check up . The doctor said I was fine and that the ectopic is gone. Lately I ve been getting sharp pains on my abdomin and a bit of bleeding. What is happening to me. Anonymous October 28, 2016 5:11 p.m.
I too have had an ectopic pregnancy. I found out on Wednesday that I was pregnant, had an ultrasound that same day that showed a heart beat in my right fallopian tube, and had an emergency surgery a few hours later to terminate the pregnancy. My doctor wouldn t even let me go home after the ultrasound and insisted that I head straight to the hospital to have the surgery. I am still in shock, and I cry every time I think of my baby s heart beat. I have and continue to experience a range of emotions. I am thankful that it was caught in time before my tube ruptured and that my life was spared. I am devastated that I lost my baby. I am blessed that I have three other healthy children. I am sad that I will not be able to naturally conceive again because I have lost both of my fallopian tubes (per my doctor s advice). I am mad that my original tubal ligation failed and that I ended up pregnant in the first place. I am mad that my doctor told me that I could go back to work today!!! Friday!!!! Two days after my surgery!!! It is not humanly possible for me to go back to work two days after losing my baby. I can t even stand up straight without feeling pain, and I have a smelly bloody discharge. Needless to say, this will take time for me to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My husband and I created life that had a heart beat, a life that had a heart beat, a life that had a heart beat!!!!! I will never meet my baby and will never see what he or she was to become. I keep telling myself that maybe I was never going to be able to carry the baby to full term any ways, or maybe the baby would have been too sick with sickle cell to have a happy life, or maybe the baby was mentally damaged when I took a nasty spill down the stairs last week and fractured my toe before I even knew I was pregnant, or maybe this or maybe that. Just trying to find some reason to make sense of me losing my baby. I don t know, but I do trust God and know that he doesn t give us more than we can bear. So, I just try to be thankful that I am still alive and here to take care of my three other children (15, 13, and 9) that still need me. I don t know, but this will take time for me to come to terms with. I know that I am not alone in this but I just wish there were a better alternative to handling ectopic pregnancies. I imagine there will be a day where advances in science and medicine will allow doctors to move the baby from the tube to the uterus allowing a woman to deliver a healthy happy baby. I know that day will eventually come and somewhere down the line, women will be spared from experiences like mine. KEW September 19, 2016 8:22 a.m.
Hi! I was so excited to find this at Baby Center. You are welcome to use my story on your site. My name is Jacque and I live in KY. I am 28 years old and suffered a miscarriage in Aug 2003. My pregnancy was going along fine until I went in for an appt. at 10wks. My husband and I were excited to hear the heartbeat. When they couldn t find in using a doppler, they said they would do a quick u/s to ease my nerves. The tech searced for my baby. I had no idea what I was looking at. My baby measured 6w 2d and my sac was 10w 4d. My baby had stopped growing. My husband and I were devastated. This was our first pregnancy and the first grandchild in our families. My dr did bloodwork that day and discovered my progesterone to be 10.3, too low. I had a D C 2 days later. After talking to a friend who miscarried 1 year before due to low levels, we both agree that this test should be given to every pregnant woman immediately. we both contacted Dr,azuba who help us now we are okay. I am currently TTC and herb medicine that was send to me from dr.azuba.it works,so if you need is assistant kindly email him via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348149271063,website:https://azubaspelltemple.wordpress.com/. Good luck to all the women out there and this site! Thanks for all you are doing to bring attention to this. Jacque Jacque September 8, 2016 3:59 a.m.
hello everyone, i am here to share my testimony on how i conceived my baby. i have been married to my husband for 18years without no issue. my husband has been tested and i too have been tested. but no issue. i had problems with my in-laws even my husband started to have new affairs aside our marriage. it was a very terrible thing to bear. i became a laughing stock among my pear, i prayed and fasted and nothing happened. i was now seen as always unhappy. after many medical treatment and there is no way. i took it as i was born barren and i accepted every challenge that comes my way. i was even ready to pack out of my marital home and stay on my own because my husband was not given me any attention that i needed from him. i decided to focus on my job and try to live happy on my own. on this faithful day, i decided to check the net for updates on healthy living and i came across a story of a man who Dr Azuba helped his wife to conceive a baby. i decided to put a try because this has been my greatest problem in life. today i am a proud mom. words will not be enough to explained what this man did for me. he casted a pregnancy spell on me and i noticed i was pregnant a month later after the spell. i am a happy mother, the pride of my family, a miracle in my town. i know there is someone in same condition and you feel there is no way. i urge you to contact him via email email@example.com. This is the solution to every single mother around the globe. distance is not a barrier, he will surely make your dreams come trough. contact him today via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348149271063,website:https://azubaspelltemple.wordpress.com/, you want your lover back or any other miracle in your life, contact him today so the world can be a better place to live. bye!!! Jane August 30, 2016 10:33 p.m.
I had my surgery 30 days ago and I have a really bad pain on my lower left side/abdominal pain. My right tube was removed, I feel like I have a really bad bruise and I get a really sharp pain when I try sitting down or when I m kneeling down almost everything hurts it. I feel like I been through enough and not knowing what s wrong with my body is so frustrating and disappointing I just feel like giving up sometimes, they didn t give me a follow up appointment until sep 15 which is ridiculous and I really need some advice is this normal? Patti E August 21, 2016 6:31 p.m.
Im having bad headache after my ectopic pregnancy and tube removal. Is this normal. Tisha August 20, 2016 12:17 a.m.
Its is approaching the 6 year mark of my ectopic pregnancy. I am 33 with no children with one tube. I had to have my left tube removed with this surgery. This was the 1st and only time I had been pregnant. I lost my child when I was 2 months and a day...and the worst part is knowing my child had a heart beat. I always wonder will I ever shake this feeling!?! I have been trying now for 6 years with my same partner now my fiance and I have recently when to my doctor for a full physical just to find out I also have 2 large cysts whereas I have to undergo a surgery to remove, that I will undergo next year before my wedding! I pray that we are blessed and able to get pregnant after my surgery. Despite my pain I am truly bless because my ectopic pregnancy was caught right on time. Jolanda August 6, 2016 6:52 a.m.
Here s my story, I m 47(old huh?) and tested positive on a HPT. I do not have any children so this was pretty amazing. BF is 50 and too has no children, so we were both pretty happy but realized the risk at our(my) age. I knew something wasn t right because I had like a normal type period shortly after I tested pregnant. Went to Gyn. on a Friday and she suspected I was miscarrying but did a ultrasound and blood work. She saw a small mass on LTube and nothing in uterus, my heart sank. When test results came in my HCG was 9,000 just at the threshold for methotrexate. I came back to her office that same Friday and was given the injection. Next blood test-14,000 expected to rise. Next blood test 17,000. Shot didn t work, heart sank even further. After all this now it is Friday one week later I am back at Gyn. We had a long discussion about trying a second dose or going in for surgery, either way I was terrified. So I made my way to th ER reluctantly and scared out of my mind. Fast forward several hrs later and I am in recovery with both of my tubes removed. I decided that with my Gyn after our long discussion. After surgery , it felt like from my waist up I was run over by a truck. The pain from the gas they use to fill up your stomach to see organs is by far the worst pain of it all. For me it lasted about 3 days. I walked around quite a bit slowly and laid slightly on my side at night which helped. Finally made a bowel movement and with the walking the gas pain went away. Now the bleeding, day 1 thru 4 right after surgery maybe a drop or two of blood very small amount. Day 5 I was crampy and started to bleed like a period! Now what s going on...panicked and made Gyn appt. She said don t worry(bleeding after surgery , don t worry, yeah right)is normal as my uterus is shedding etc. She felt inside and said I m soft which is good. Bleeding is still continuing and today is day 9 after surgery so I ve been bleeding period like for 5 days. I still am nervous even though they say bleeding is normal . Incisions are starting to itch a tiny bit so I think they are healing good, no redness etc but they still have that glue stuff on them. I have little to no pain just the slight crampy period feeling guess because I m still shedding. At times, I wish this would have all worked out and I would have gotten my one child even though it would have been very late in life. I guess it just wasn t in god s plan for me. For those of you who have or are experiencing loss, everything happens for a reason and when the time is right, you will receive your little miracle(s). Lisa Ann C. July 27, 2016 8:08 p.m.
Yesterday my husband and I found out our pregnancy was ectopical. We had the choice of a prescribed drug(kemo) or surgery to remove mass in my right tube. There was important things to consider and we had very little time as our doctor insisted the pregnancy to be ended immediately. The kemo would rid the tube of living cells and would save your tube for potential future pregnancy s. The kemo came with several risks to other main organs and there is a chance that it would not rid your body of all the living cells in your tube and the process would have to be repeated. The surgery would consist of removing the entire tube which would ensure no living cells from mass were left behind. The surgery like all surgery s came with several risks to infection and any potential future pregnancy s were limited to only one tube. With either option, once you have had an ectopical pregnancy you are more sisceptible to future ectopical pregnancy s and need to seek medical attention right away to ensure the health of you and the baby. This was not an easy desicion as we still want to get pregnant but also did not want to inject poison (kemo) into my body. We chose the surgery and will leave our future journey of being parents in Gods hands. I just had my surgery to remove my right Fallopian tube and it was pretty emotional but the support from my husband, family, friends and faith are my strength! Everything happens for a reason and just remember when one door closes another door opens. I found so many blogs from other women to be so much support through this difficult and scary time - so I hope my story and information supports you in ways you need supported. Love the gift of life - long or short - it is a gift. Kristy May 19, 2016 11:45 p.m.
I got an ectopic pregnancy 1 week ago.since I can move,walk around I would like to ask if can I travel by land? Gellyn May 17, 2016 10:01 a.m.
Brooke I had key hole surgery last week for an ectopic pregnancy and am still experiencing bloating I am told its from the gases they used during surgery. I am lucky to have support from family and friends but I can stop this feeling of loss. I did not know I was pregnant as I had my period as normal to then find out in one afternoon after having a lot of lower abdominal pins that I was pregnant and then have it taken away. Mine had a heartbeat which crushed me more and I had to lose a tube because of this. Sending my heart out to anyone else going through this unexplainable heartache. Sarah May 15, 2016 8:17 p.m.
After having surgery to end the pregnancy, did anyone experience extreme bloating? I had my surgery yesterday and my belly is very big and bloated and uncomfortable. Brooke April 21, 2016 6:59 a.m.
Its been a week since my ectopic surgery, i was rushed to hospital told about the pregancy, then informed that it was an ectopic, then went to theatre in a space of 3 hours all on my own. Hearing the heartbeat seeing the baby and loosing it all at once, on my own. My mum arrived as i came out from theatre then my partner an hour later. I am deeply hurt, i dont know how to deal with the loss and experience. I am now sitting with my arms which every now and then go numb and loose sensation. This has been the hardest trauma i had to experience on my own. KJ Anonymous. April 13, 2016 9:34 a.m.
Hello it feels so terrifyiny when in know i had an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor suggest that i had to undergo surgery ryt away and need to remove my left ovary. It feels so empty when u loss a baby. I always cry and ask why it happen. One week after surgry i return to my normal.activity jst to forget everything. meme April 11, 2016 11:34 p.m.
Thank you sir for your help and God bless you and your family I have been trying to get pregnant for over 20 years now. My husband and I have been seeing a fertility specialist. We have done one IUI with no luck. My husband has a sperm count which goes up and down, the doctor has recommended him taking the Proceed supplement which he is doing over 3 years with no change in the situation my husband who has low sperm count? It just seems to me that if the sperm are unable to fertilize the egg it will not matter how many are produced. I am was so confused until i contacted this powerful spell caster online who I saw a number of testimonies of how he has help so many of them so I sent a mail and I told him all my sorrows and pain he replied me and ask me not to cry any more that he will help, he sent me some instructions and caution, the spell caster performed the ritual rights and I bought some items to complete the rights and he told me to have sex with my husband within 3weeks of doing this I felt dizzy and I went to the doctor and it was confirm that I was pregnant thanks to him am carrying my own child now and am happy ,if any one needs such help don’t wait all life time to get help in getting pregnant contact,email@example.com or cell phone +2348149271063 lisa April 11, 2016 3:26 p.m.
Hello i I also have experience an ectopic pregnancy found out i was pregnant about 4weeks into pregancy i was having bad pain on my right side .. Told me that it was an ectopic preganacy and i would have to have surgery. Only been a day since my surgery .. Want to know hiw long will i recover . .. Right now i feel like sleeping all day.. And very emotional because losing a baby even though it was only a fetus at the time . now i know their are other women that went though the same thing im going though right at this moment . thank you for your stories and im very sorry for all the ladies that are going though this . Priscilla April 9, 2016 11:28 a.m.
I had to take two shots of chemo now not feeling so good headache s pains in the top of my stomach an vomiting so what to do this is my first time dealing with this Debra Reed April 7, 2016 9:07 p.m.
I had an etopic pregnancy and had to have emergency surgery to remove my ruptured left tube 2 weeks ago today. Anyone feeling mild pain on the side they did the surgery on? Plus I m having a bit of weakness in my leg. I m so sorry for everyones loss.. this has been devastating. Take time to heal 3 Anonymous April 7, 2016 11:11 a.m.
I have just had a surgery some cople of days ago from ectopic and I experienced all you said. Meanwhile, I have not poop since that day,is it normal? Adeola April 5, 2016 1:27 a.m.
Hi, I just had a surgery for ectopic pregnancy today... it s not the first time this happens in my family, it happened to my mother 6 years ago, so I was familiar with it. But other than the fact I can t sleep for obvious emotional and physical reasons, I have sleep sideways all my life and I got the surgery on my left side, I need to know if I m able to lay on my right side or just on my back??? Please help! Stacey March 30, 2016 2:29 a.m.
First of all sorry for all you ladies pain,as I am crying still healing from my ectopic pregnancy, I too can relate. Jan 25, 2016 I was scheduled for my first ultrasound at 12 weeks pregnant I started spotting on the 19th and 20th then it stopped went in for and earlier visit the next day on the 21st no heartbeat detection with dopler sent for early ultrasound right after and discovered that it was a tubal pregnancy in right tube.I was blessed not to have to have surgery but was given the option for the shot that terminates the pregnancy. It worked and it s a day by day experience I am fearful of getting pregnant although I do want children and I am in my mid 30s. I am running out of time and it s very stressful. Good luck ladies prayers to you all my heart goes out to you all. LaLa March 12, 2016 3:41 p.m.
Ok. Im not so big on blogs or comments. But Ive just experience the wrost feeling of being pregnant. Ive been fixed 14 years just about. Youngest son turning 15 yrs. On monday oldest 17 yrs. My husband n I just learned on February 26, 2016 , we were 6 weeks pregnant. Wow exciting, right, starting all over again. Apparently the baby decided to get stuck in the rt. Fixed tube and try to grow as a atomic ( tubular) baby. On March 7, 2016 the baby had already reached 2.4 cm in growth in the fixed tube. During all this happening I had no signs of a tubual baby just a normal pregnancy and constpatation . On March 7, 2016. The doctor s said baby had to be removed. Had operation done, they removed ( murdered ) the baby as well removed my rt. Fixed tube. Sent me home rt. Afterwards with drug prescription of heavy nactuics that makes your bowels almost impossible to move. 6 days as of today of major bowels not moving at all. No matter what I did. And constant bleeding. The procedure gave me more pain then the baby stuck in the fixed rt. Tube. Is this normal and or did any women experience this at all. Please leave comments and suggestions Sacha MCTootle March 12, 2016 12:23 a.m.
Hi, I just had an ectopic pregnancy today they removed my left Fallopian tube, after going to the ER for pain in my left side and lower back and bleeding! I would have never thought this would happen to me and now it terrifies me to know that if it happens again then my chances to conceive are gone:( I feel for any woman having to go through this it s absolutely terrifying! I m left with so many questions!!! My best wishes to all you ladies! Jamie March 8, 2016 11:43 p.m.
Hi, I just had an ectopic op its been four days now and I can t do number 2 I feel so bloated what could help me? Pretty Ngwenya March 5, 2016 3:50 a.m.
I was would have been 8 weeks pregnant the 8th of March 2016. I was excited because Im 33 and thought that I couldn t get pregnant so this was so unexpected. On Tuesday March 1st the pain started. I was screaming and crying from how much it hurt. I was having terrible stabbing pains in my left lower abdomen that spread to my right side. I also had this horrible rectal pressure that was relieved by sitting on the toilet. I ended up throwing up from the pain. I still went into work that night but it hurt to walk or bend down. I blew it off as maybe a bad pregnancy. The next couple nights at work I still felt constant pain in my lower abdomen plus the rectal pressure when walking so I made an appointment with my primary care doctor. I went in that day March 4th 2016 and she was very concerned and sent me to the ER. They did a transvaginal ultrasound and found out I was bleeding into my stomach and the baby was inside my left Fallopian tube. She also told me the baby had a heartbeat which killed me inside. They rushed me into surgery and removed both the baby and left Fallopian tube. That baby is all I ever wanted for so many years. I m told I can still get pregnant with one tube but I m still so scared. I m so sorry for anyone who has had to go thru this. I feel a part of me is missing now. Abby February 22, 2016 8:19 a.m.
I was 10 week pregnant and excited. All that ended so fast.. I started spotting and cramping. Went into the ER not expecting the news that I did. They kept me from Saturday-thursday. I had surgery that Monday February 1, 2016. Doctors said it was the worst ectopic pregnancy that they had ever seen. My tube had ruptured around 3 weeks pregnant. . I had been bleeding in my stomach for 7 weeks. . I could ve been dead. I had to be given 4 units of blood. My baby had fallen from the ruptured tube and embedded behind my uterus. . I hate I lost my baby but I am so happy to be alive.. Thank you Jesus! Hopefully I will have a baby but I am so scared now. 31 and this was my first pregnancy. Nancy January 29, 2016 11:34 a.m.
I had surgery on the 26th January for an ectopic pregnancy, they took my left tube out! They said I will still be able to conceive with one tube! But I fear the worst! But the loss of my 7 and half week baby is devastating, I m so lost with my self, and trying to help myself to heal and get better from the operation is a lot to cope with! All I want is my baby and this is the fourth time I ve lost a child, I don t think my heart could possibly go through another loss and heart ache and pain! I m so sorry for everyone who has lost there child, I wish u all the best for the future to become pregnant again and go onto have a succeful child birth! We must all keep strong, and not give up!!!! Chyna hill January 18, 2016 1:08 a.m.
Hi, I had a surgery 10 Jan for ectopic pregnant, when I found out that my baby was in the wrong place I felt like it was the end of me,and now im struggling to sleep at night, im so angry im alwys shouting my man.so wat I want to know is that I am goin to be able to fall pregnant again and how must I stay so I can try again Reginah January 17, 2016 9:40 p.m.
Hello, I had surgery Jan 12th and they removed my right fallopian tube. I am having such a hard time coping with this and I feel so alone. I don t know why, but I am so angry and shutting out everyone around me. They told me that my left tube is non functional and I have no chance to have children. I feel like my husband wants nothing to do with me because I cannot have children. I am so confused and hurt. Has anyone found ways to help cope? I feel so useless :( Melanie January 7, 2016 7:58 p.m.
Hello, I just went through the ectopic pregnancy. On January 6 2016 I had surgery. I m still in a lot of pain. I had my right Fallopian tube taken out due to the rupture. I didn t know I was 7 weeks pregnant. How long does it takes to heal from this and when can my husband and I try again? Shay herbert January 7, 2016 2:45 p.m.
hi.. I have ectopic pregnancy 4 day ago... I m still in pain of the operation and removal of my last tube.. cos in 2014 my left tube has been removed due to cysts and infections.. I still want to have kids an I can t afford ivf can any one tell me can I be able to conceive again without my fallopian tubes. I stil have my ovaries Holo cindi December 27, 2015 10:17 p.m.
Oh and my symptoms now b4 and after the methotrexate shot are, tmi but like constipation pain in lower tummy, pain when i move in any kind of way in my lower tummy..rectel pain win I sit or try to use the bathroom, sharp stabbing pain that comes and go s. shanelle December 27, 2015 10:08 p.m.
Hi I am 31 and I have just experience d an ectopic pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant December 10-15 I took one home pregnancy test which read positive, ever since I got my bfp the cramp started on the left side of my stomach.so I went to a clinic and took their test and also was positive, I told them about the pain I was having on one side and the remediatly referred me to the ER told me it could be ectopic, they did so many ultrasound didn t see nothing,did blood work my hcg doubled like a normal pregnancy, found out it was ectopic on Christmas when I started bleeding my hcg levels where 1700 and still no baby in uterus so the said thats what is was they gave me methotrexate two shots one in each arm. I ve tried to conceive for 8 years and I finally get pregnant and it turned out to be ectopic. I am so devistated. The healing process is so painful mentally and physically, well in sorry for those who has gone thru this it is so hard to deal with. Us woman has to stay strong and just be positive and seek positive stories shanelle December 27, 2015 9:54 p.m.
I had a tubal pregnancy. My levels are down to 3. However, ever since I found out about this situation, I get painful cramps (all most like small contractions) when I pass gas or when I have to use the restroom. Is this normal or should I be concerned? Becca December 15, 2015 9:30 a.m.
I juts suffered an etopic three weeks ago. I still feel very very tire and all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately I got preg with an IUD in place. It was also in the proper position
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