Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment
An ectopic pregnancy can be treated with either nonsurgical options, such as an injection with methotrexate, or surgery. Methotrexate can only be used to treat certain types of early ectopic pregnancies. The two types of surgery used are laparoscopy and laparotomy. This is a serious medical condition. If left untreated, it can result in loss of life.
Nonsurgical Options for Treating an Ectopic Pregnancy
In certain types of early ectopic pregnancies, a nonsurgical treatment can be used. This option involves an injection of methotrexate, which dissolves the fertilized egg and allows your body to reabsorb it. This drug does not harm the fallopian tubes and other organs.
After being injected with methotrexate, repeat tests of your hCG levels will be taken to make sure that the pregnancy is dissolving and that further treatment is not needed. The abbreviation, "hCG," stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, which is the hormone the placenta makes in early pregnancy.
Only certain women are candidates for ectopic pregnancy treatment with methotrexate. If your condition is not treatable with this medication, surgery will be necessary.
There are two types of surgery to treat an ectopic pregnancy. The most common is a laparoscopy. A laparotomy (open abdominal surgery) is less common. If an ectopic pregnancy involves surgery and only one fallopian tube is removed, the woman should still be able to become pregnant in the future if her other tube and ovary are normal.
However, the woman will be at increased risk (about 10 to 20 percent) of having another ectopic pregnancy. The role of laparoscopy and laparotomy as ectopic pregnancy treatments is discussed in the following sections.
Laparoscopy can be used as a tool for diagnosing and treating some medical conditions, such as ectopic pregnancy, by actually looking inside your abdomen (stomach). This technique offers many advantages over traditional surgery. With used to treat an ectopic pregnancy, women usually have shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times because it is a simpler, less invasive procedure.