Learn more about ectopic pregnancy and how it can affect a woman’s fertility
Our Oklahoma fertility clinic helps patients learn more about ectopic pregnancy and how doctors can diagnose and treat this issue. This type of pregnancy, also called a tubal pregnancy, consists of the embryo implanting before it reaches the uterus. Most commonly, the embryo implants in a fallopian tube, but it can also implant in other locations.
While this form of pregnancy often results in a positive pregnancy test, it cannot develop into a healthy pregnancy. It is also unsafe for the mother and requires prompt treatment.
How doctors diagnose and treat an ectopic pregnancy
As an ectopic pregnancy develops, it often causes a variety of symptoms. A woman should contact her doctor if she experiences these symptoms after a positive pregnancy test.
- Pain in the pelvis or abdomen
- Bloating, nausea or vomiting
- Light vaginal bleeding or cramping
In many cases, a doctor can diagnose an ectopic pregnancy through ultrasound and bloodwork. After making the diagnosis, the doctor can recommend a treatment plan.
Early treatment with medication. When a doctor diagnoses this type of pregnancy early, they often prescribe a medication like methotrexate to cause the body to release the embryo. After taking it, the patient receives a blood test to ensure the resolution of the tubal pregnancy.
Delayed treatment with surgery. If a doctor is not able to diagnose this type of pregnancy early, a patient might require laparoscopic surgery. In some cases, the doctor may need to remove the fallopian tube along with the embryo. Our Oklahoma fertility clinic can help patients build a family if they experience fertility challenges after an embryo implants in a fallopian tube.
IVF can help women develop a healthy pregnancy after a tubal pregnancy
While many women go on to naturally develop a healthy pregnancy after a tubal pregnancy, some require fertility support. A woman might need this support if she continues to have pregnancies where the embryo implants in a fallopian tube or if she has tubal damage.
Typically, IVF is the optimal treatment for women at risk of the embryo implanting before reaching the uterus. This treatment bypasses the fallopian tubes and allows the doctor to insert an embryo directly into a woman’s uterus.
IVF involves the woman self-administering injectable medications to cause multiple eggs to mature. During this time she receives regular blood tests and ultrasounds at our Oklahoma fertility clinic.
When the doctor determines that enough of the woman’s eggs are an ideal size, they schedule an egg retrieval. After retrieving the woman’s eggs, the doctor sends them to the lab where an embryologist fertilizes them with sperm from the woman’s partner or sperm donor. The embryologist can perform PGT on the resulting embryos if the patient selects this option.
The final step of IVF consists of the doctor transferring an embryo into the woman’s uterus. Two weeks later, the woman will take a pregnancy test at our clinic. From there, we can hopefully celebrate some good news. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.