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Ectopic Pregnancy (cont.)

What is the treatment for ectopic pregnancy?

Patient Comments

Ectopic pregnancy is not normal and does not represent a developing baby. This condition can be life-threatening and must be corrected. Your health-care professional will discuss which treatment is best.

What about methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) to treat ectopic pregnancy?

  • Formerly, surgery was the only option for treatment of ectopic pregnancy. However, in recent years, if the ectopic pregnancy is in the Fallopian tube and is very small, the patient may be given medical treatment in the form of methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) therapy to cause the tissue to stop growing and allow the body to expel it.
  • Methotrexate is a chemotherapeutic drug that interferes with cell division and growth and has been successfully used in the treatment of leukemias, lymphomas, and other cancers. It also has been used as an immunosuppressive agent in the prevention of graft versus host disease in transplant recipients and in the treatment of severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate is given for ectopic pregnancy in the form of single or multiple intramuscular injections.
  • Most women who undergo this therapy describe lower abdominal pain, especially within the first several days, and vaginal bleeding similar to a heavy menstrual period will occur. The patient will be advised to have blood tests every 3 days to ensure that the medication has been effective.

What about surgery for ectopic pregnancy?

If the ectopic pregnancy is large or outside the Fallopian tube, or if there are signs of severe bleeding inside the abdomen, surgery is required. Often the surgeon can use laparoscopic surgery (small incisions in the abdomen to remove the ectopic tissue), but sometimes a larger incision is required. In the case of a tubal pregnancy, if the tube has not ruptured, sometimes it is possible to extract the tissue from the tube. Often, however, tubal damage is so great that the Fallopian tube must be removed.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/11/2016
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy):

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Ectopic Pregnancy »

Ectopic pregnancy presents a major health problem for women of childbearing age.

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