Many women experience an ectopic pregnancy, or one in which the embryo implants on tissues other than the endometrial lining (most often within the fallopian tubes). A past ectopic pregnancy can increase the risk of experiencing another ectopic pregnancy.
Woman that want to become pregnant after ectopic pregnancy may wish to undergo vitro fertilization, or IVF. At the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Lubbock, TX, Dr. Janelle Dorsett may recommend that patients consider IVF after ectopic pregnancy. IVF assists throughout most of the stages of conception to increase the chance of a successful, healthy pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy and Difficulty Conceiving
After a woman has healed from an ectopic pregnancy, she will probably want to try to conceive again. While it is possible to get pregnant naturally after ectopic pregnancy, it can be more difficult. Additionally, the risk of a second ectopic pregnancy is higher.
It is possible that the fallopian tubes may be abnormal after ectopic pregnancy. In some cases, the fallopian tubes were already damaged or abnormal, which led to the first ectopic pregnancy. In other cases, healthy fallopian tubes can become damaged due to the formation of scar tissue that could partially or completely block the fallopian tubes.
How Can IVF Help?
IVF can help our Lubbock patients conceive after ectopic pregnancy and minimize the risk of a second ectopic. IVF is a multi-step procedure that involves collecting mature eggs, fertilizing them in our laboratory, and then implanting healthy embryos directly into the uterus.
During the egg implantation process of IVF, a thin, flexible catheter is used to transfer eggs to the uterus. The implantation procedure bypasses the fallopian tubes altogether, so that women have the chance to conceive even if their fallopian tubes have been significantly damaged or blocked by an ectopic pregnancy.
IVF not only increases the chance of conception after an ectopic pregnancy, but it also prevents another ectopic.
Monitoring for Pregnancy
Approximately seven days after embryo transfer, our IVF patients will undergo a blood test to measure hCG levels. If this test indicates that the patient may be pregnant, a follow-up test will be scheduled in another two to seven days. If hCG levels have again risen significantly, it will confirm pregnancy.
Although IVF can lower the risk of an ectopic pregnancy for our Lubbock patients, it is still important that any woman who has experienced ectopic pregnancy be closely monitored during the early stages of subsequent pregnancies. Around five to six weeks into the pregnancy, a transvaginal ultrasound is performed to verify that the embryo has implanted in the uterus. Once this is confirmed, the pregnancy can be treated normally.
Schedule an Appointment
At the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, we offer a wide range of fertility services to assist you in becoming a parent. If you are interested in learning what treatments may be most beneficial to you, call (806) 788-1212 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Janelle Dorsett at your earliest convenience.