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Ectopic pregnancy surgery

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cat89
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 14, 2021 10:33 pm

Ectopic pregnancy surgery

Post by cat89 »

I had surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy 3 weeks ago. It was my first pregnancy and, though planned, I didn't realise how much I wanted it until I lost it. I had to go through everything on my own in hospital because of covid, and my husband had the stress of having to stay home. I understand that the baby couldn't have survived, but it had a heartbeat. I can't shake the feeling that I killed my baby. The nurse asked me before the surgery what to do with 'the tissue' after. I said they could dispose of it and I regret it so much. I feel like a monster. I'm healing very well physically but I just don't know how to come to terms with it emotionally. Does anyone have advice?

On a separate note, I'm really not ready yet, but when the time comes, I know there's an increased risk of another ectopic pregnancy. I have already had one fallopian tube removed so if it goes wrong again and I have to have my other fallopian tube removed, does that mean the end of my chance to get pregnant? Is it worth considering freezing eggs or anything like that?

paulinavx_1
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:18 pm

Re: Ectopic pregnancy surgery

Post by paulinavx_1 »

Hi. I'm sorry you had to go through such a terrible experience as an ectopic pregnancy. Your story seems to be very similar to mine and I completely understand your feelings. My first pregnancy was also ectopic and was removed together with my right tube. The pregnancy was planned but I also realised how much I wanted the baby after I lost it. Before my surgery and final confirmation of ectopic I was monitored for over 2 weeks for pregnancy of unknown location. It was very stressful time. After surgery the first thing I felt was relief that this terrible situation was over and I also opted for disposal of pregnancy tissue. After a while I started feeling guilty about these post-surgery feeling and for not having proper farewell with my baby. But the true is that after such a big deal of stress we sometimes make a decision to protect ourselves. And I believe that leaving pregnancy tissue in the hospital was a way to protect myself from more distress. It's also ok to grieve for a pregnancy loss but feel relieved that treatment was successful etc. Be kind to yourself and don't blame yourself for what happened. That wasn't your fault and you didn't have any other choice or option to deal with this life threatening situatio. Regarding fertility - I haven't started ttc yet but there's a lot of successful stories on this forum from women having healthy pregnancies after tube removal. However, if you're in doubts I'd recommend you to contact GP or fertility specialist to discuss your situation.

smith64784
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:26 pm

Re: Ectopic pregnancy surgery

Post by smith64784 »

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EPT Host 20
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: Ectopic pregnancy surgery

Post by EPT Host 20 »

Dear cat,
I am so sorry to hear of your ectopic pregnancy and loss,
When we experience ectopic pregnancy we are suddenly faced with a life threatening emergency and it's treatment, reduction in fertility, concerns about the future and the loss of our babies. Experiencing any one of these is an ordeal, putting them together is immense and your feelings are completely normal.

I know that when I had my ectopic pregnancy I also looked for a reason and almost automatically we tend to blame ourselves. From the bottom of my heart, there is nothing you could have done to prevent the ectopic pregnancy from happening. You have nothing to be guilty for with regards to your surgery and the decision you made.
There are several guidelines for medical professionals to follow regarding the sensitive treatment of your baby. As a result, many hospitals have adopted arrangements with local crematoria for the sensitive disposal but they are guidelines, and procedures vary from hospital to hospital.
If you do want to know more, we recommend that for local information about your hospital, you contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) department and ask what the hospital policy is on the sensitive disposal of foetal remains.
You can speak to someone in the PALS team about what happened and they may be able to help with answers or a way to find answers. You could also request to see your medical records if you feels able to do so as these may contain detail about where the remains were sent.
The hospital chaplain will also do whatever they can to accommodate your needs in relation to your honouring your loss. They will almost certainly have a baby loss service of some kind and you might also like to see what the Baby Loss Awareness Campaign has organised in your area for the next celebrations and acts of remembrance.
I cannot stress enough about not feeling bad about decisions made in emergency circumstances. Please be kind to yourself.

It is normal to feel anxious about the future. We generally feel a mix of emotions from wanting to try again to being petrified of what may lie ahead. We never forget, but we learn to accept what happened. It is a slow process that might be weeks or months ahead.
In time, we can get to a place where we feel comfortable trying again. When this is, is individual for each person. There is no timeframe for recovery, take each day as it comes.
Importantly early scans avail. As soon as you know you are pregnant, contact your local EPU to inform them and book in for an early scan at around six weeks. Remind them of your previous ectopic pregnancy. This self refer route is the best route in our view. Hopefully you will have some comfort to know you are under the radar of medical professionals right away.
If you were to have another ectopic pregnancy which resulted in tube removal, you would unfortunately not be able to conceive naturally, but would be referred for IVF. It is not common for this to happen however as the early pregnancy scan means any problems can be acted upon quickly and therefore hopefully reducing the need for further surgery.

The chances of a further ectopic after a first in UK is 10%. So that's 90% chance of the embryo being in right place next time.
While generally it is possible to conceive after an ectopic pregnancy, the amount of time it takes varies from couple to couple. Factors include age, general health, reproductive health and how often you have sex, among other things. It may be comforting to know that 65% of women are successfully pregnant within 18 months of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy and some studies suggest this rises to around 85% after two years.

Making the decision to begin trying to conceive is an emotional rollercoaster compounded by our sad loss. Again, you are not alone. We here emotional support whenever you need us. There is a specific Preparing for your Next Pregnancy board you can look at too whenever feel ready.

Above all be kind to yourself and allow time to grieve, to heal both physically and emotionally.
Sending much love and gentle hugs,
Karen x

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
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