Q: Good morning Doctor and Happy New Month. Please advice a woman that lost both fallopian tubes due to ectopic pregnancy and just had a failed IVF. Thank you, ma’am
A: This must have been a trying period for you…first a pregnancy and then finding out that it’s ectopic and then a failed IVF. My heart goes out to you. But you are strong, because only a strong woman will come through it and look at the way forward. You will be fine. Keep your chin up and be open to possibilities.
To summarize for those who don’t know, ectopic pregnancy is a situation in which a pregnancy implants outside of the womb (uterus). Usually, fertilization of the egg by the sperm happens in the fallopian tube and then this fertilized egg travels to the uterus where it is implanted. In ectopic pregnancy, this doesn’t happen. The fertilized egg may attach to the ovary, remain in the fallopian tube (tubal pregnancy), attach to another organ in the abdomen or the cervix. None of these places are ideal for supporting a growing life and so there is a great threat of serious bleeding.
Ectopic pregnancies are usually discovered in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy (it would have been discovered by the 8th week of pregnancy). The patient would usually come into hospital with complaints of light abdominal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramps, extreme dizziness from the bleeding. If the tube ruptures (bursts), patient could faint from profuse bleeding into the abdomen.
The risk factors for ectopic pregnancy include history of previous ectopic pregnancy and/or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, STIs, failed tubal ligation (tying up of the fallopian tubes for people who no longer want to have more babies), congenital abnormality of the fallopian tubes, pregnancy while on Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) etc
Once the doctor makes a diagnosis of this, he will choose from either giving a drug to dissolve the pregnancy tissues, if the pregnancy has not progressed too far and the fallopian tube is not ruptured; pin-hole surgery (laparoscopy) is also an option here. However, if rupture of the fallopian tube is suspected, the whole fallopian tubes and ovary may have suffered significant damage needing their removal.
This may have been what happened in the case above. I do not know if both tubes were damaged or how much damage was done to the tube(s), but I trust that for IVF to have been undertaken, this is the situation. IVF by the way, means Invitro Fertilization and is the process of fertilizing a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm cell outside the human body. In the early days they were called test tube babies. Unfortunately, IVF is not a cheap procedure and you do need deep pockets and loads of patience because it may take a while. But, if you can afford it, please go for it. Give your body time to heal and do everything that improves your chances of having a successful pregnancy and healthy baby. Eat well (more fruits and vegetables) and try to work out daily…even if that means taking a walk for about 30 days. Get support from family and friends and remain positive…pregnancy is more likely to happen if you’re relaxed and focused on living a full and happy life as opposed to fretting about it.
Remember that adoption is also an option to consider.
I wish you all the best and I’m giving you a huge hug with my heart right now 😀
Good night y’all 🙂