Posts Tagged ‘Ectopic Pregnancy’
In a recent article entitled “Ectopic Pregnancy Treatments Have Similar Effects on Fertility,” the results of a two-year study following women who had undergone treatment for ectopic pregnancies were published. Over 400 women in France who had an ectopic pregnancy were treated using one of three methods: a methotrexate injection which halted the pregnancy; conservative surgery, which preserved the fallopian tube; and radical surgery, which removed the fallopian tube. One part of the study compared those who received drug treatment to those who received conservative surgery. The other part of the study compared the conservative surgery to the radical surgery.
Two years after treatment, the pregnancy rates following each treatment were fairly comparable: 67 percent for those who underwent drug treatment, 70 percent for conservative surgery, and 64 percent for radical surgery.
Dr. Hershlag, chief of the Center of Human Reproduction located at North Shore University Hospital, was mentioned in this article and said these reportings “reaffirm our experience that [nonsurgical] medical treatment is sufficient in most cases of ectopic pregnancy,” if the ectopic condition is discovered early enough.
This is good news for women who have undergone treatment for ectopic pregnancies, giving them hope that a normal pregnancy is still possible even after such treatment.
To learn more about fertility treatment or assistance for those who have experienced ectopic pregnancy, contact The Center for Human Reproduction at 516-562-2229.
By: Mary Rausch, MD
Very early in the pregnancy, doctors cannot tell where a pregnancy may be because it is too small to be seen on ultrasound. Sometimes a pregnancy may grow outside of the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube, which can be very dangerous. These pregnancies, which are called ectopic pregnancies, can lead to potentially life-threatening bleeding if it grows in and ruptures the fallopian tube. Symptoms women may have include pain and bleeding, but such symptoms can also accompany miscarriages or normal pregnancies. When a woman has symptoms early in pregnancy, she is often followed with blood hormone levels and ultrasounds for a period until the doctor can diagnose whether she has a normal pregnancy, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Over the past few years, I have been working with a team to develop a test to diagnose ectopic pregnancy before it can cause serious damage to the woman and before it is visible on ultrasound. Although the test we’ve developed needs to be studied further before it could be used clinically, in preliminary studies it was 99% accurate at differentiating ectopic from normal pregnancies. We are hopeful that one day we will have a blood test which will let women know if they have a normal or abnormal pregnancy very early on. Such a test could bring great relief to women with pain or bleeding early in the pregnancy, if the results are that it is a normal pregnancy, or could allow for immediate treatment if the pregnancy isn’t normal. Knowing the diagnosis days or weeks earlier would not only be safer, but would provide piece of mind.
When a woman has tried so hard to become pregnant, the first trimester can be a both an exciting and scary time. As a fertility doctor seeing so many women go through this period of uncertainly, it is very satisfying to be a part of a project that could improve the experience of these women.