09 Aug Can I Get Pregnant After an Ectopic?
Ectopic pregnancies are devastating and frequently lead to the loss of a fallopian tube. Some patients are ready to try again immediately. Others are wary, fearing a repeat scenario. However, you can still conceive and carry a baby in almost all cases. Studies show that 65% of women who’ve had ectopic pregnancies and try again are pregnant within the first year, and as many as 85% are pregnant after the second year.
That said, we recommend working closely with your OB/GYN or a fertility specialist because women who experience an ectopic pregnancy have a higher risk of it happening again (about a 1 in 10, or 10%). Of course, your safety is always the priority, so follow your OB or fertility specialist’s lead.
If you’ve had two or more ectopic pregnancies, you should talk to your doctor about pursuing IVF treatments for your health and safety.
Tips For Getting Pregnant After an Ectopic Pregnancy
The following are tips for getting pregnant after a single ectopic pregnancy.
1) Wait at least three full months
Ectopic pregnancies typically involve some level of damage to the fallopian tube, causing scarring. The first bleeding after taking methotrexate or surgery is usually related to the hormonal responses to the pregnancy loss. Also, residual methotrexate in your system can harm a baby if you get pregnant too soon after your ectopic pregnancy. Waiting for at least two to three complete menstrual cycles allows your body to return to its regular fertility rhythm and for a damaged fallopian tube and any residual bruising/trauma to heal.
However, a scarred fallopian tube makes it harder to conceive and puts you at risk for another ectopic pregnancy. Your OB may recommend imaging tests after three months to evaluate the fallopian tube’s health, including hysterosalpingography, or HS, to check for tubal blockages. If the ectopic pregnancy requires surgical intervention and the removal of the damaged tube, your remaining fallopian is there for you. Read, I Have Only 1 Fallopian Tube. Can I Get Pregnant? to learn more about how a single healthy fallopian tube is all a woman needs to get pregnant.
2) Take care of yourself
Your mind and spirit are also healing after the ectopic pregnancy trauma. It’s scary, it’s devastating, and it can be excruciatingly painful for the body, mind, and spirit. Take time to honor your experience, and don’t be afraid to seek help from a compassionate therapist for extra support. You may also find heart-centered support via online or in-person support groups for women who’ve experienced ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages.
Also, don’t be afraid to tell others what you need. For example, you may want to send them, How to Support a Friend Who’s Lost a Baby, to help them better understand what you’re going through, as well as what to do – and what not to do – as you begin moving forward.
Finally, nourish your body and spirit with healthy foods, regular exercise, and plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
- Focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Keeping exercise on the moderate side (avoiding extreme workout routines, sports, or athletic activities).
- Practicing stress management.
- Establishing healthy sleep habits.
- Speaking to your doctor about taking prenatal and other supplements that boost fertility and early pregnancy health.
- Keeping a gratitude journal, which is proven to reduce stress and boost joy in your life.
3) Seek fertility help sooner rather than later
Typically, if you’re under 36, we don’t recommend consulting with a fertility specialist until you’ve accurately timed intercourse for 12 consecutive months without success. If you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy and don’t get pregnant within the first nine months, speak to your OB about the imaging tests we discussed above. If it doesn’t seem like a tubal blockage is an issue, continue trying for 12 to 15 months before consulting a fertility specialist (sooner if you’re 38 years or more).
If there is evidence of fallopian tube scarring or blockage, schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist. In some cases, IVF is the best and safest option to expedite pregnancy and negate any risk of another ectopic episode.
Learn More About IVF After Ectopic Pregnancies
Would you like to learn more about IVF and how it can ensure the safe conception of a healthy full-term baby? Then, schedule a consultation with the Fertility Center of Dallas. We have supported countless women and couples like you as they honored the child they lost while moving forward and making their family-building dreams come true. We’re here for you.