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Pregnancy After Ectopic: The Risks & Looking After Yourself

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An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus and can cause vaginal bleeding and require treatment.

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Pregnancy following an ectopic pregnancy is often fraught with worry about the potential risks and associated with a higher risk of miscarriage.

There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk and increase your chances of successful pregnancy, yet it can be difficult to know which steps are most important. This article provides an overview of the different factors that might influence your decision around whether or when to try for another child after an ectopic pregnancy.

It also provides some practical advice on how to stay healthy if you do choose to become pregnant again. For more pregnancy guidance, take a look at our ovulation after miscarriage calculator, or find out what to expect at an 11 week ultrasound.

Getting Pregnant After An Ectopic Pregnancy

For some women, trying to conceive again right after an ectopic pregnancy may feel like it's too soon. For others, getting pregnant again couldn't come sooner. It's completely natural to fall on either side of the spectrum, but it is important to know the risks and make sure you're healed before trying again.

Statistically 65% of women get pregnant healthily within only 18 months of having an ectopic pregnancy.

Multiple studies have shown that ectopic pregnancy is not linked to infertility issues, but it can have lasting emotional effects of depression and anxiety. Ectopic pregnancies are usually random occurrences that don’t reflect any genetic predisposition to the condition.

A major factor in deciding whether or not she will manage to get pregnant right away is the woman’s age. Older women may be less able to conceive as quickly as their younger counterparts or may need increased time for their bodies to heal and recover from the trauma of an ectopic pregnancy.

Whether you are able to conceive again after an ectopic pregnancy also depends on the health of your fallopian tubes. If your fallopian tubes are damaged during an ectopic pregnancy, you may not be able to conceive soon after your pregnancy. Women who have an early ectopic pregnancy and need to have medical treatment will be able to conceive again more quickly than women who need to have surgery on their fallopian tubes, who's chances of getting pregnant are lower while their body takes time to heal.

If you have an intact or healthy fallopian tube, you may be able to conceive soon after your ectopic pregnancy. However, women who have the tubal blockage that may result in infertility after an ectopic pregnancy should see a fertility specialist for treatment options to regain the ability to conceive.

This is something that you will need to discuss with your doctor. Some doctors might tell women to wait three months before trying again while others might not want them to try again for a year.

Depending on the extent of the damage done during the ectopic pregnancy, it can take three months to a year of waiting before trying again. The chances of getting pregnant are also lowered because it is more difficult for ovulation to occur after an ectopic pregnancy.

If you know that you can get pregnant again, you can first try to get pregnant naturally as opposed to undergoing artificial insemination (IVF treatment). Natural conception is the most likely way for it happen if a couple waits six months or more between first and second pregnancies.

Currently it is not known whether getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy affects the risk of having another ectopic pregnancy in the future. The chances of having another ectopic pregnancy after you have one are slim. After an ectopic pregnancy, the chances that you'll have another ectopic pregnancy are only 1-3% per year. If you have more than one ectopic pregnancy, however, your chances of having another are higher.

There are many ways to stop an ectopic pregnancy. While it's possible to induce labor with intrauterine insemination (IUI) to empty the uterus, it's also possible for women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy to be able to bear a normal, healthy child without recourse to fertility treatment at all. A medical expert should be consulted if you want more information about how to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy.

Overall, if you get pregnant again right away, even if it isn’t right after your ectopic, the odds are in your favor for a healthy and uneventful second pregnancy and birth.

What Are The Risks?

Returning to work after an ectopic pregnancy can take time as your uterus heals.

For women who have suffered from ectopic pregnancies, it can be scary to try again. Having a successful pregnancy is the most important thing, so it's important to know the risk factors that can come into play before making a decision.

If you have an ectopic pregnancy that is treated medically, the risks are considerably lower than if you experience surgery. The biggest risk you will face is the possibility that you will have another tubal pregnancy, which can be very dangerous.

Your doctor will probably advise you to wait until you've had two periods minimum before you start to try again for a baby, because your uterus and fallopian tubes will need time to fully recover for the safest possible pregnancy. If your tubes are damaged at all from surgery, then the risks of having another tubal pregnancy are considerably higher. If you don't treat an ectopic pregnancy, then you could be at risk of internal bleeding that in some cases can result in death for the mother. However, most women who have ectopic pregnancies are able to conceive afterwards, even if one of their fallopian tubes has been damaged or even removed.

If you have been treated with methotrexate, then your doctor is probably going to advise waiting at least three months, as the medicine could cause issues for your baby after a tubal pregnancy.

In total, the risk is higher that you will have another tubal pregnancy is higher if you've had one before, but it still low. Only around one in 10 women have another ectopic pregnancy.

It is important to make sure you see your doctor straight away if you think you might be pregnant after an ectopic, so that they can monitor the health of the pregnancy and offer treatment straight away if you're displaying any symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy.

How To Stay Safe

Take a pregnancy test straight away if you think you're experiencing pregnancy after tubal pregnancy complications.

Staying safe when you try to have a baby after a tubal or ectopic pregnancy is the most important thing, and these tips can help.

Firstly it is important to ensure you are giving your body time to heal. The time it takes before you can do gentle exercise or take prenatal vitamins will vary depending on the treatment you have, but your doctor will advise on the risk factors and how best to look after yourself in the weeks after your ectopic pregnancy.

It is usually advised for women to wait two menstrual cycles before trying for another pregnancy, which usually will take around three months in total. This will help you keep track of your conception date, and also give your body time to heal before taking on the fertilized egg, as you are likely to have internal bruising and inflammation. This also allows time for feelings of grief over your pregnancy loss come to the surface so that you can begin to work through them before your body undergoes the hormonal changes of being pregnant.

If you have taken Methotrexate, then the levels of folate in your body will be lower, so it is vital for you to wait at least three months, or whatever period your doctor recommends. This is because folate is necessary for the fertilized egg to develop healthily without any birth defects. It is also important to wait so that your liver can recover properly, and you have taken enough folic acid supplements to ensure your body is ready for a new baby.

Have a medical check up immediately if you think you might be pregnant, so that your doctor can assess if the pregnancy is healthy or if it is another ectopic pregnancy. If you experience breast tenderness, light spotting or bleeding, morning sickness or any other symptoms and you think pregnancy could be the cause, then take a pregnancy test immediately and schedule an appointment with your doctor.

If you experience any persistent lower abdominal pain when you are pregnant again, then this might be an ectopic pregnancy symptom or a sign of an infection, so you should contact a medical professional to perform tests or an ultrasound on your uterus.

If you found this article helpful, then why not take a look at why some women experience itchy nipples during pregnancy or the risks and treatment for an ovarian cyst during pregnancy.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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