Ectopic Pregnancy (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
You cannot prevent ectopic pregnancy, but you can prevent serious complications with early diagnosis and treatment. If you have one or more risk factors for ectopic pregnancy, you and your doctor can closely monitor your first weeks of a pregnancy.
If you smoke, quit to lower your risk of ectopic pregnancy. Women who smoke or who used to smoke have higher rates of ectopic pregnancy. The more you now smoke, the higher your risk is.1
Using safe sex practices, such as using a condom every time you have sex helps protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is a common cause of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, which can cause ectopic pregnancy.
If you are at risk for having an ectopic pregnancy and you think you may be pregnant, use a home pregnancy test. If it is positive, be sure to have a confirmation test done by a doctor, especially if you are concerned about having an ectopic pregnancy.
If you are receiving methotrexate treatment to end an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience side effects from the medicine. See these tips for managing methotrexate treatment to minimize these side effects.
If you experience an ectopic pregnancy loss, no matter how early in a pregnancy, expect that you and your partner will need time to grieve. It is also possible to develop depression from the hormonal changes after a pregnancy loss. If you have symptoms of depression that last for more than a couple of weeks, be sure to call your doctor or a psychologist, clinical social worker, or licensed mental health counselor.
You can contact a support group, read about the experiences of other women, and talk to friends, a counselor, or a member of the clergy. These things may help you and your family deal with a pregnancy loss. For more information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.
Concerns about future pregnancy
If you have had an ectopic pregnancy, you may worry about your chances of having a healthy or ectopic pregnancy in the future. Your risk factors and any fallopian tube damage you may have will impact your future risk and your ability to become pregnant. Your doctor can answer your questions based on your risk factors.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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