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Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

This is a welcoming place for you to ask your questions and share your knowledge and experiences of ectopic pregnancy.
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jasonking
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Location: London, UK
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Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by jasonking »

We know that going through an ectopic pregnancy during the COVID19 pandemic has added additional burden to an already traumatic experience. There have been different experiences among women across the UK, due to the rationing of non-COVID services in the NHS. We realise that, for some, these have created additional challenges to the physical and emotional care they need.

Everyone on these boards, unfortunately, is connected by the shared experience of ectopic pregnancy. It is a devastating experience, no matter when it happens. We also understand that suffering these losses in 2020 is particularly unique. This thread is to share experiences if you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy this year over the pandemic time period. Please feel free to use this thread to share your experiences. Our team will also refer to this thread to better understand how the pandemic has affected care and recovery in 2020 to help us to support women, people and couples as best we can, now and ahead.

Em_1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:12 am

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Em_1 »

Today marks a week since we found out our baby was ectopic and then the surgery that followed to remove it alongside my left tube.

(Pregnancy was post IVF which was emotionally difficult enough during the pandemic)

6 weeks pregnant- I had pain the previous day and went to ED but they were too busy to scan and asked me back the next day. My wife and I work at the hospital and turned up together for the scan anxiously hoping that she would be allowed in, luckily this wasn’t questioned (this I will be forever grateful for) and we were both able to be there for the subsequent prolonged silence and heartbreaking conversation that followed.

The gyne day ward I waited on was empty and my wife was able to stay with me, I have no idea what procedures would have been like pre pandemic so not much to compare it to. She left before they took me to surgery and then I was on my own until discharge the following day, which was incredibly traumatic emotionally and extremely lonely.

Since lockdown began on the dreaded day I haven’t seen people as I’m sure I would have in normal times, but I’m not sure if this is a negative, I have had some space to heal without having ‘those’ conversations and hearing words that may have made it harder to bear.

There is a sense of nothingness, no follow ups, no guidance, not even a sick note from the hospital
as I can self certify for a week and return to work as long as I’m not heavy lifting....

I do feel stronger each day, however, the milestone of a week has made my heart feel understandably sad.

Sending love and healing to any other parents going through this sad time xx

TubelessWonder
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by TubelessWonder »

My ectopic experience would probably have been quite different if it wasn't for covid.

At 6 weeks I experienced what I now know to be my right tube rupturing. It started when I got a head rush (very common for me) which was bad enough that I slightly blacked out and fell on my bum. Later that evening I was in absolute agony with pain in my abdomen, slightly more on the right but all over. I was also ghostly pale and shaking from the pain. It was so bad that we called 111 and after a lot of questioning they decided I needed to speak to an out of hours GP who eventually concluded it must be...trapped wind. It was really only because I was worried about covid in the hospitals that I didn't go to A&E. That and the fact that I couldn't actually have walked myself to the car!

Overnight the pain eased. I still felt sore the next day and was incredibly pale. The extreme pain came back that evening but again I managed to sleep it off.

2 days later I started bleeding and thought I was having a miscarriage. By this point I no longer had pain. I rang the GP who sent me for a blood test the next day, with a repeat blood test a week later. During the week in between I passed a lot of clots and tissue so assumed I had fully miscarried at that point.

When I rang the doctor about my blood test results (by now I was 8weeks+5days) she asked if I was still bleeding which I was so she suggested I go for a scan at the hospital. I thought this was just to check the miscarriage was "complete".

I had to go alone because of covid. I was very tearful as the nurse took some blood before my scan. "Don't worry" she said "it could be worse, it could be ectopic!". Haha little did we know! Anyway so then I went for the scan alone and was told my lining was nice and thin. Great... And then she says "oh bless you..." followed by silence. Eventually followed up with an explanation that the pregnancy was outside my womb, that my tube had ruptured and that there was lots of blood.

I then had to return to the waiting room alone. I burst into tears again and a lovely nurse put her arm around me and hid me away behind some curtain. At that point I was able to ring my husband and he was briefly allowed to be with me as I was prepped for surgery.

Although my surgery was an "emergency" I actually ended up being alone in a room for five hours waiting to be the next on the list. My phone battery was dying and I was checked on twice in this time. I just had to lie there alone processing it all as my husband was not allowed to stay with me.

Because my surgery ended up happening so late and because there were not enough porters to move patients from recovery, I didn't get back to my room until nearly 11pm (my scan was at 9am). So I spent the night and morning alone again until I was allowed to be picked up to go home.

I haven't had any follow ups from the hospital. No sign of my chase histology. I didn't even get to speak to my surgeon about how it went. So I requested my notes and am horrified to have not been told about some of their findings. Filmy adhesions and endometriosis for example... kind of important to know but they made no mention of it.

Anyway. I'm now nearly 2 months on and still can't quite believe it happened to me. It has been therapeutic to write this out!

SGC
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:31 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by SGC »

COVID-19 has massively impacted our pregnancy journey, making it a very isolating and lonely experience.

My wife and I have been undergoing IUI this last year in order to try and get pregnant. On our second round we were successful, or so we thought. Unfortunately, just as we found out we were pregnant, we also thought we'd miscarried. Something which our fertility clinic confirmed. Bizarrely a week later, I was still feeling pregnant and actually my HCG levels had got stronger on home pregnancy tests. So much so, that I went for two blood tests at the fertility clinic to confirm that I was still pregnant. I was booked in for a 7-week scan on 5th November and we tried not to get too excited whilst we waited - still having the 'miscarriage' in the back of our minds. Two days before I was due to go for the scan, I began getting strong sharp pains in my lower left abdomen, so strong that they were distracting me from teaching a class of children and I decided to call 111 on my lunch break. They referred me to my GP and told me that the GP would contact me within 6 hours. To their credit, they did call back pretty quickly, however, my concerns went unanswered as I was told not to worry (simply because I wasn't bleeding) and to just wait for my scan on the Thursday. They did offer a urine dip test to check for UTI just in case it was an infection causing the pain. Unsurprisingly, it came back clear.

Two days later, we went for our early pregnancy scan. The nurse had read our file, so understood that we were apprehensive about what the scan might show. She explained what she would do and that she would be quiet for a few moments whilst she had a look around. It was when she said: "I'm really sorry, but I can't see anything in your womb. This means I need to look outside your womb," that we both instinctively knew that the pregnancy was ectopic (we also now know that the 'miscarriage' that we thought we had was actually a sign of ectopic pregnancy all along). The nurse told us that we had to go to our local Early Pregnancy Unit straight away, and actually called them on our behalf. When we got to the EPU, my wife was sent away to wait in the corridor. Thankfully, when it was my turn for a scan, she was allowed in with me. The scan again confirmed that I had an ectopic pregnancy and that it was big enough to start being a problem. Before we could decide on a treatment option, I had to have my bloods taken so that we could find out what my HCG levels were and therefore work out the most sensible treatment option. The three treatment options were discussed with us and we were allowed to wait together in a side consultation room that wasn't being used. When the blood test results finally came back a few hours later, it became clear that 'waiting and seeing' wasn't an option as the levels were high and one doctor said that it was likely I would have ruptured before the drugs would have worked anyway. Our only sensible option was surgery, so I was put on the emergency surgery list for the same day and admitted to a gynae close observation ward. My wife was allowed to stay for a couple of hours before she was asked to leave (we were lucky to get that time together as it turns out visitors are only allowed for one hour generally). Unfortunately, I had to wait until the following morning to have my surgery and this was a long, lonely night in the hospital trying to process everything that was happening.

In the morning, just before I was taken down to the theatre, I was given some paperwork to complete, including the 'what do you want to do with your baby' form. This was, for want of a better word, horrendous. I had to complete these forms without my wife's input, thinking for two of us, knowing I was just about to be wheeled down to surgery. I felt rushed and stressed into making quick decisions. I was having obs done at the time and was told I needed to calm down because my pulse was too high - I mean, they could have given me these forms at any point, perhaps right before surgery wasn't the most sensible of options. Luckily, my surgery went without a hitch and my wife was allowed on the ward for an hour once I was back. Thankfully, I was also discharged the same day, so only had to be alone for 6 more hours or so. However, when I was discharged, I was discharged without a note for work, without pain killers and without follow up instructions. I spoke with my GP on Monday who signed me off for two weeks to start with and prescribed some painkillers that I could take. I also called the EPU to find out what I should be doing to follow up and I had to go in a week after surgery for a follow up blood test. I also have to take a pregnancy test at home this coming Friday - I'm not looking forward to that.

At the moment, I'm currently ten days post-surgery and still trying to process everything that's happened. It hasn't really sunk in yet that I had to have life-saving surgery and that I'm no longer pregnant. Thanks to COVID, the whole experience was so cold, clinical and isolating and my heart goes out to anyone else who experiences this during these pandemic times. I'm still struggling day to day, though I'm physically healed (enough) from the surgery, and I know that I will need more time off work. I'm definitely not ready to teach a class of children yet. It's one day at a time, but I'm just so grateful that I have my wife and our friends and family to support us through this horrible time.

Will we go through fertility treatment again? We may try again for a baby in the new year or we may not, at the moment we're just taking each day as it comes.

CherylL
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:41 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by CherylL »

Oh god, where do I start! I found out I was pregnant in the last week of August this year. I was made up. Myself and my partner experienced a miscarriage earlier this year so this pregnancy was meant to be our rainbow baby. We were so happy! I went for my first antinatel appointment and early scan because of the misscarrige to put our minds at rest. I had to go alone, due to covid restrictions
the sonographer said she couldn't find a pregnancy in the uterus so I had bloods. My HCG levels were high so I was admitted to the ward. They said they wanted see if the baby was in the right place but if it wasn't then my tube would be removed. As they suspected an ectopic pregnancy. My partner wasn't allowed in. I had to go through this alone due to covid. I had the operation on the 8th September. I was six weeks pregnant. It's broken my heart. I picked the name as soon as I found out I was pregnant Luna-Willow. I don't know if she was a boy or girl but to me, she was my baby girl. I had her buried in the local cemetery. It's broken my heart is of been 15 weeks pregnant now. And now I'm nothing with a missing tube and scars. It hurts so much that I haven't got my baby
anymore.

Sillybry20
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:38 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Sillybry20 »

Reading everyone’s experiences make me so sad. So much heartache could have been avoided by a better system throughout Covid.
My experience is similar to many others.

I had a positive pregnancy test on 19th august after only having my implant removed at the end of July. I was quite shocked to fall that quickly to be honest!! My main “pregnancy symptom” was low level cramps and sore back. On 22nd august, I had started bleeding and having a very sore stomach. I rang 111, who got me an out of hours appointment, by which time the pain was very one sided. The Dr took a urine sample and felt my stomach. He said the pain was too high to be pregnancy related and gave me antibiotics for a kidney infection. Told me bleeding is sometimes seen with a kidney infection, but if I was still bleeding or in pain in 4 days, to ring my GP.
4 days on, the pain was better, but the bleeding was still constant so I rang my GP. My lab result had been lost, but they told me it was “most probably a chemical pregnancy”. They were very sorry, but there was nothing to be done. The pain and the bleeding would get worse before it got better and if I had any issues in 2 weeks to ring back for an urgent referral to EPU. I asked about being seen by EPU earlier but was told that nothing would be seen and so they wouldn’t be interested in seeing me.
It was a long wait until the 7th September when I was allowed to fall back. I bled pretty much every day. Some days, the pain wasn’t too bad. Other days, the pain sent me back to bed. I still tested positive, so I rang the GP but they said they were full and too busy to refer me, try again tomorrow.
I rang 111, who told me that the only thing I could do was go to minor injuries and sit and wait to be seen. It could take all day, but they would eventually prompt a referral.
I got ready to go down and luckily, a lovely dr saw my triage notes and called me. He told me not to waste my time as EPU/Gynae were closed due to Covid. He spoke to me on the phone - I explained that I’d bled for 2.5 weeks and had significant pain on the left side of my groin. I also said that I felt like my organs were squashed - my stomach was super bloated and walking felt very concussive. He managed to organise me a referral for 2 days time. I was told to go alone.
Wednesday 9th September, I went to the appointment. I did my sample and heard the nurse tell the dr “the next patient has a very faint positive” at which point I felt like I’d wasted their time and if I’d have waited another day, it would all have cleared up.
I went in for the internal and the dr was really nice. He joked it would hurt less than a smear snd we chatted whilst he looked around. He said my womb looked good. The lining was very thin and I looked as though the miscarriage was complete. He said he would just check everything else. He then said “hmm, your stomach is full of blood, where is the pain?” It all went silent for ages whilst he looked and prodded and took pictures. He then said you’ve got a 5cm growth on your left Fallopian tube. Given your presentation, we’re fairly sure it’s an ectopic pregnancy. I’m very sorry, get dressed and we’ll discuss next steps.
He then went straight into “we need to get you into theatre, you’ll most likely lose the tube. Who is looking after your daughter? How did you get here? Can anyone drop off an overnight bag?”
It was all such a blur and suddenly I was in the “[censored word] news” room. An empty broom cupboard with a chair, a box of tissues and a poster offering miscarriage support.
I was visited by a series of drs snd nurses who said surgery wouldn’t be for 7 hours as I’d just eaten breakfast. Then all of a sudden, I was having bloods taken, a cannula fitted, consent forms thrust under my nose and told not to walk anywhere as I needed a wheelchair. I remember saying “what’s the urgency? I’ve been told I’m going up to the ward?”
The registrar said “no, you’re bleeding internally, you are going straight to theatre.”
I had about 10 minutes to text my husband and mum to tell them and try to organise someone to drive the 40 minutes over with an overnight bag.
The whole thing felt so undignified. I was taken into a room with open doors and 3 medical professionals in and told to strip off and put the gown on. I had nowhere to put my clothes as I only had a handbag with me. I asked to keep my pants on as I was wearing a pad and then said no, just put it in your handbag. I was then asked to sign forms to consent for the disposal of remains and briefly told I would probably lose a tube, they would try and save the ovary and then I was off to theatre. I had to wear my mask until the moment I was given oxygen to knock me out.
When I came round, the pain to my stomach was awful. I cried and they found me a hot towel to wrap around me. They gave me a load of morphine and asked me my pain score. Apparently I said 4/10. Idiot. I don’t remember but they thought I was doing so well!
Mask back on and I drifted in snd out of consciousness before being taken back to the ward. They shovelled me on the bed and told me not to wait too long to get up and go to the loo. So once they left, I detangled the drip trolley etc and hobbled to the loo. I felt awful, but was reassured that I could stand and hobble.
I was incredibly thirsty - drank pints and pints of water and tried to chew the stale sandwiches.
Sleep that night was pretty crap, but the next day I was sent home and told to keep taking paracetamol.
Actually, by day 4 of recovery, I felt heaps better and physically, I felt pretty A OK within 2 weeks. I was signed off for 3 weeks and appreciated the extra time to sort my head out.
I count myself very lucky that I had barely processed the pregnancy before I started to lose it. And that I went to my scan expecting bad news, so I was further down processing the loss by the time the surgery happened. So actually, I was just really grateful to feel better again. I had felt awful for so long and just expected that the NHS were telling me the right things, when actually, another day snd it could’ve been a very different story. I am so angry that they put me off for so long.
But nearly 12 weeks on, my periods are fairly normal again and I feel pretty ok. It was a bad thing that happened, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The moral of my story is to fight for your own health though!! Don’t take no for an answer!

blackcatphobia
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:19 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by blackcatphobia »

My story's possibly not so useful as I'm living in Germany, but hey, you never know.

I discovered I had grown a fibroid when I was getting my IUD out ready to start trying to conceive (it was a really fun removal, 0/10 do not recommend having a fibroid block your IUD in), and was told it probably wouldn't be a problem but they'd keep an eye out anyway. I got pregnant pretty much the first month we seriously tried - and a week after I found out, I found out it was ectopic. I had a bit of bleeding and what felt like mild period cramps, my husband made me email my gyno, they told me to go in that day, which of course I had to do alone because covid. As it was technically my first pregnancy appointment, I got a big pack of pregnancy information... Then I had an ultrasound and he couldn't see the pregnancy - but wasn't sure because my stupid fibroid was taking up space. He told me he suspected it might be ectopic, told me to go to hospital NOW, told me my husband should go too as I shouldn't be alone. He laid it on THICK. Later it turns out that he thought I wasn't taking him seriously, because my instinctive reaction to terror is to be totally and utterly, preternaturally calm. I absolutely fell to pieces on the phone to my husband outside the office though.

I went to hospital, waited a million years alone (husband waiting outside the building, thanks covid) surrounded by heavily pregnant women openly looking at me and wondering what the [heck] I was doing there (thanks, lasses), and eventually got in for another ultrasound, where they had a long look, two different doctors were interrupted by phone calls (at least my life is a comedy) and they still weren't entirely sure. I was told they didn't want to wait a couple of days to see what the hormone level would do, so I had to go back the next day, for another ultrasound and another opinion. More suspicious pregnant women staring at me. This time they found it in the left fallopian tube, and I barely had time to hear all the possible complications and text my husband to bring me an overnight bag before there was an open surgery spot.

I had my little two person ward to myself till late that night, when I got a wardmate... who was literally in labour. I was hoping to be discharged the next morning, but it seems like they didn't like what they saw in my drainage bag the next day (and honestly I didn't really like the look of it either!) so I had an extra day in. I was climbing the walls (or, you know, barely managing to hobble to the loo occasionally) with loneliness, missing my husband, finding it hard to keep up with all the German. I almost cried when they said I could go home.

Nothing would have made it a GOOD experience, but I wished I had my husband there so much. His German is better than mine, he's a solid calming influence, and I wouldn't have felt so goddamn ganged up on by all the heavily pregnant women everywhere. Not that it was their fault. But I was asked if I was pregnant twice over those two days of waiting, and I have never felt so awful about myself.

Lovely
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:32 am

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Lovely »

Dear all,

It is so harrowing to read everyone's stories and how so much is so similar. One of the biggest things that I've struggled with is having the opportunity to speak to people about my experience during the pandemic, I would find it immeasurably healing to be able to talk to my friends, face-to-face, about my experience. In lieu of that, here it is for all of you...

We started trying for a baby at the end of September but unfortunately I got my period two weeks later, it was a bit disappointing but it was just the first month of trying so I was optimistic. I remember my period being heavier than usual but nothing really to worry about but then 6 days later I started spotting and it lasted for around 5 days. I had recently had a clear smear test so the next thing I decided to do was take a pregnancy test which came back positive; 2-3 weeks. I had some twinges around my previous C-section scar - which may have just been in my head! But I decided to speak to a GP because I feared it was ectopic, there was no way that I could have a viable pregnancy after such a heavy period and having not had sex since September! The GP shared my concerns over the phone, told me to go to the walk in GP clinic where I was seen by a nurse for further pregnancy tests. He said to call the GP again the next day to get a referral to EPU and continued to congratulate me on my pregnancy... I spoke with the GP the next day (a different one to the day before) and she said that EPU wouldn't see me based on my dates but she simply wouldn't listen to the fact that the dates didn't add up and that there is no way I could have conceived after my period. She signed off our call congratulating me on my pregnancy and text me a link to refer myself to maternity services when I was at 7 weeks.

Two weeks later on the Monday I had a sudden agonising pain in my abdomen all the way through to my rectum. It brought me down to the floor, I felt faint, I had pins and needles in my arms and I could hardly move. My husband called 111 who said that they would call back and whilst waiting he called 999 - he had read about the dangers of fallopian ruptures. The paramedic arrived after the worst of the pain and I honestly started to feel like a bit of a fraud, the pain has eased somewhat but I couldn't stand without feeling faint or being sick. He led me on the couch and took my stats and just said that if I had pain that I should take some paracetamol and that there was nothing that the hospital could do to help apart from monitor me. He was very dismissive about my ectopic concerns and reiterated that the EPU would not see me.

That night I didn't sleep a wink, I was being sick all night not being able to keep down water. My whole body ached and I felt so faint. The only thing that helped to ease my discomfort was a long hot bath that took me and hour to be able to heave my body out of. I continued to have spotting and pass small clots, I just thought that I was having a miscarriage and maybe that I had given myself food poisoning.

I stayed home that week, hardly moving from my bed and eventually called the doctors again on Friday to talk to them about the bleeding. I was so relieved when they agreed to see me and I spoke to another GP and she spoke with the EPU whilst I was there who agreed to see me that day based on my symptoms. I was at the EPU within 2 hours and in surgery 1 hour later. My left tube had ruptured on Monday, I had been internally bleeding since then and I needed 3 blood transfusions.

My husband could come and sit with me briefly before my surgery. I didn't have anything for an overnight stay, I had hardly cleaned myself all week because I was so weak.

Nearly a month on I am still going to the EPU to get my bloods checked and there is still some hormones present so I will continue to go until they have cleared. It is heart breaking to go back there and will for the pregnancy hormone to disappear when really all I want is for it to increase and be pregnant.

I am struggling with the fact I could have died, I've lost a baby, my body has been cut open again and I can't look at it in the mirror. I don't know how to unpick each of these feelings when baby loss seems like such a taboo subject for the people around me.

2020Angelx
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:31 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by 2020Angelx »

My Ectopic pregnancy was in July. I was six weeks pregnant and I had a bleed on the Saturday. I thought I was miscarrying but there was no pain or clots etc and it stopped. I rang 111 and they advised that I should go to A&E if I was concerned. I figured at six weeks, if I was going to miscarry there was nothing to be done so I didn’t take it any further and I had no more bleeding over the weekend.
Whilst at work on the Monday, I had slight bleeding again so rang my doctors who referred me to the early pregnancy unit at my local hospital but reassured me that it didn’t sound like a miscarriage and sometimes bleeding in early pregnancy can be normal.
I was rung the next day by the hospital and asked to come in the day after (Wednesday.)
I found it daunting going on my own but was quietly optimistic everything would be ok and clinging to my doctors words. I saw a lovely nurse who took all the details down and explained that I would be scanned, what possibilities they were looking for - ectopic, early loss, possible implantation bleeding.
I was abdominally scanned but they couldn’t see anything so I had to be scanned internally. The screen showed an empty uterus. It’s the most vivid and heartbreaking memory I have of the whole situation. Then they upped the talk surrounding the possibility of ectopic and I had my bloods taken for hCG levels and was told to come back in 48hrs for more bloods. But that afternoon I was called by the consultant at the unit and told to come back in the morning instead. My hCG levels were just below 3000 and high enough for them to expect to see the pregnancy. She said if I felt unwell at all or experienced any pain to go straight to A&E.
I was scanned every day that week, on my own, hopeful they would find the baby that they never did and had bloods taken every other day. I had zero symptoms of ectopic, even the bleeding hadn’t returned and I was well. My hormone levels were high and the hospital never found the pregnancy. I was scanned by three different sonographers internally including the senior over the week.
The following week I had a methotrexate injection which did exactly what it was supposed too and as I went for my weekly blood tests to track my hormone levels they dropped dramatically each time and I was discharged after four weeks.
It was awful from start to finish. Going through it on my own especially when I didn’t ever feel unwell or have any pain or symptoms other than a bit of bleeding at the beginning. It was emotionally devastating and frightening thinking of what was going on in my body whilst accepting - more processing, that I would loose my baby. I think that the worst thing for me was the fact that the ‘medical emergency’ for me, over- rode the fact that I was loosing my baby for everyone else. I’m lucky to have people that care but I’ve never felt so alone in my life.
I think being on my own through that experience made it harder for me to heal from.
Love to all that have gone through this x

lunalife
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:09 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by lunalife »

In July I suffered an ectopic pregnancy on the ovary. It started with not knowing that I was pregnant, and thinking that I had a bad stomach reaction to something we ate, or a gastric bug. I felt nauseous, had bowel issues, felt faint and had to lie on the bathroom floor to recover. But I had just had my period (or so I thought) so I thought it wasn't possible for me to be pregnant.

I had been using ovulation test strips and had five consecutive surge days, so eight days after the first incidence I took a pregnancy test which was positive. A few hours later I had the same tummy issues again and called NHS 111 given the pregnancy test and how I was feeling. After triage the doctor suggested I go to A&E to 'rule out an ectopic', so I headed there at about 10pm. I was dropped off by my partner as he couldn't join due to covid rules. I felt awful with stomach cramps and nausea. The doctor confirmed my pregnancy with a blood test and after a hours of waiting did a scan. She couldn't see any bleeding, and could see 'something' in my uterus, which I took as good news, combined with a positive pregnancy test. The gynaecologist wasn't available and the doctor gave me the option of staying till the morning (a good 5-6 hours away) or going home and being booked in for an emergency scan. I chose the latter option and was booked in for 2.5 days later. Again, I assumed that because this didn't really seem like a rush that perhaps everything was fine. I have since reflected on the very real danger that this put me in.

So my partner dropped me off for the scan and took my 3 year old son for a play in the park, fully expecting to pick me up an hour later. I had to stay for 5 days without any visits permitted. The scan showed an ectopic, and as I was being booked in I fainted and was rushed into theatre with suspected ruptured ectopic. I was so worried and scared, and all alone. The operation went well, thankfully. In recovery, I was encouraged to use a commode and a carer helped me up, however when I told her I felt faint she said 'that's common, don't worry' and walked away to another patient. The next thing I knew I was blacking out and woke on the floor in a puddle of blood where my eyebrow and head had been bashed. I continued to feel faint and have dreadful headaches over coming days and was eventually given two blood transfusions and an MRI scan of my head before I was released.

What I hoped was going to be a simple scan turned into five days in hospital with no visitors whatsoever, and with a lot of really traumatic stuff going on. It was really stressful for me (of course!) but also my partner was so worried and couldn't come see me at all, whilst also having to deal with our little boy. I have received counselling to help process some of what happened and am now coming out the other side, five months on. I am also pregnant again which is both helping and feeding anxieties.

Mpr521
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:37 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Mpr521 »

I had my first pregnancy in July, which was an ectopic. The day I was told I was about 8 weeks and somehow hadn’t ruptured. Due to low HCG levels I had the option to do methotrexate. I had to make the decision to do the shots or surgery by myself since my husband wasn’t allowed in. Once I made the call to go with the methotrexate, I had to walk to the ER to be checked into a bed and wait for a cancer ward nurse to free up to deliver the injection. The substance is highly regulated where I live. Once the nurse arrived he listed out all of the potential side effects as I sobbed. It was so scary to have been diagnosed with an ectopic and then have to make treatment decisions alone all in the same day. I also had the parting shot of asking how I would be paying for my treatment before I left since we don’t have as strong of a public healthcare system in the US. All in all a very sad isolating experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

NewbieFP
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:37 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by NewbieFP »

I am almost 4 weeks post surgery to remove my ectopic pregnancy and left fallopian tube. If it werent for the pandemic, I dont think it would have resorted in surgery.

I called my GP on 6th of Nov with a positive test and bleeding. She said I miscarried and directed me to the walk in Emergency Gynae unit for blood tests. They changed to be by triage appointment only due to the pandemic and refused to have me in, 'couldnt offer any early screening until 5 weeks'.

I contacted them almost daily for 2 and half weeks with nausea, discharge and shoulder pain. They finally offered me a scan on 23rd Nov. When I arrived, people still fobbed me off. 'We dont need to do the full bloods, we'll just take the one since your fine!'.

Suddenly, during my scan, their faces dropped and I was told I needed to be admitted for surgery. I was taken to a side room with people telling me I needed surgery. Then a doctor walked in and just handed me 2 leaflets and said I had a choice. Luckily they let my partner in and we chose to go home and come back the next day for the injection.

When I came in the next day, the consultant was sent to see me. She told me I wasnt eligible for the injection and they had to put me on the emergency surgical list. I was admited at 11am, was told Id have surgery at 3 but was bumped. My partner had managed to spend the day sat with me. He left at 5 but lost his house key, they wouldnt let him back in to search for it. I finally had the OP on 24th Nov at 7pm.

I spent the next 2 days stuck on that ward due to infection, listening to the 3 other ladies chat about being so far along and glowing and all the baby clothes they'd bought (all admitted for sickness from what they loudly proclaimed). My partner nor my colleagues who worked in the hospital were allowed to see me. After the 6 hour obs from the surgery, I was promptly ignored. Begged for a shower and was only granted one before discharge. Was given no information as to what to expect. The 'dissolvable' stiches are still there at almost 4 weeks post op and have now become infected (trousers catching on the stitches when Ive returned to work). And I cant bring myself to contact them back.

I feel angry, lonely and fobbed off by the professionals that were meant to take care of me. Ive had so many problems in recovery that they seem entirely incompetent and I feel violently ill at the thought of going back there again. When Ive phoned up demanding answers, I just got told it was because of the pandemic. An excuse for crap treatment at this point.

Stephy
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:38 am

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Stephy »

I'm now day one post surgery for an ectopic.

This was my first pregnancy. We had joked that I might be pregnant because I had really tender breasts but I'd been bleeding for 6 weeks straight so didn't really think it possible until 10/12/20 when I passed something I've never seen before. It turns out it was the gestational sac of one twin.

Went to the epau on the Sunday to be told it was a pregnancy of unknown location but I had likely miscarried. There was what was thought to be a collapsed corpus luteum on my right ovary but they recommend close follow up to rule out ectopic.

I was there for 3 hours with my husband waiting on the car. He wasn't allowed into the hospital, and I didn't have the answers to his questions.

I went back in Tuesday for a repeat hcg which had only dropped by 5. I was in pain, nauseous and dizzy. The sonographer was concerned that what was thought to be be corpus lutein was actually an ectopic and that I had had a heterotopic pregnancy. what was originally a 10 min bloods appointment at 8.30am turned into an overnight admission on an orthopaedic ward as the local gynae ward is now a covid ward. I

My husband again , wasn't allowed in the hospital. I was on a ward with nurses that didn't think sensitively and talked to each other about how I was "slowly losing her baby". not knowing about ectopic pregnancies meant that I was given oramorph due to increased pain and no observations were done for another 3 hours.I'm lucky it wasn't a rupture.

no one told me what was going on, or told the gynaecologists which ward I was on so I didn't get seen until 1pm the following day. Dosed up on morphine and codeine I was then told that they still couldn't be sure that it was ectopic because of having miscarried last week and that I could go home if I wanted as the risk was minimal. I could go home on paracetamol.

Went back the next day for planned hcg and it had almost doubled! but this still didn't confirm anything. I was given the options of Watch and wait, medical management of surgery. Because of the pain I chose surgery and it's a good thing I did as I was very close to rupture.

I have not been able to see my husband for more than 12 hours in almost a week. He hadn't understood what is going on (neither have i) and I have been so lucky that my mum knows the system so had been able to advocate for me. This is a difficult enough time for anyone, but it has felt so lonely and confusing. It's hard enough to take in information when you're experiencing a trauma, let alone when on strong painkillers and having to try and make decisions with loved ones who don't have all the information. I had to tell my husband that not only had we lost two babies (our first pregnancy), but that my life was also at risk. He has been worried sick and feels helpless, and had to wait for me to phone him to let me know I had come round and surgery went well. (Although it took them 8 hours for a Dr to tell me that - initially I was told I had also lost the ovary)

This time is awful for anyone to go through but the emotional toll of being alone, having to tell your partner that your baby will not survive, decide what to do with the embryo's remains alone because there's no phone signal, and not being there to comfort one another is even worse. I feel worse for him because he has been left with the internet as his only real source of information and can't really start grieving yet.

I'm so sorry that other people are going through this too.

lauren88
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:08 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by lauren88 »

After going into hospital in the early hours of 23rd Dec with bleeding and pain I was given to option to either stay in or go home until they rang to for the scan that day. I had to attend the scan on my own for them to find the ectopic was 5cm. They let me call my partner to meet them before the nurse spoke to us and explain what was going to happen.
Once admitted onto the ward my partner had to leave again, they told us before covid I would of been in a side room and he would of been able to stay the whole time.I was booked for surgery on 24th Dec unless I became unwell and then would of been taken during the night.
Xmas came and the took me to surgery, I came back feeling heartbroken...as it was Xmas eve they actually discharged me that evening. No follow up appointment, no sick note, no pain relief. It does feel like you've lost your baby and thats it.
With COVID being on my own to deal with an ectopic getting your head round and then the surgery was extremely hard not being able to have the support of my partner being there, the emotions your both going through yet have to be apart

Courtney_1993
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:25 am

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Courtney_1993 »

After suffering a miscarriage and not long after an ectopic pregnancy 8 years ago I was reluctant to ever start trying again for a baby. I was 7 1/2 week pregnant and was treated with methotrexate right Fallopian tube.

Fast forward 8 years I decided the time had come where I wanted to try again. The thoughts of ectopic pregnancy never left my mind, but I was pregnant. I felt so scared and vulnerable and did not feel happy to be pregnant as I new what had happened before, I rang my doctors to explain I was a high risk pregnancy (previous ectopic) and I was pregnant. The receptionist told me she we would refer me to the midwife and if I didn’t hear anything back in 2 weeks to call back. (Great). I left it 4 days and started to get right sided abdo pain nothing intense just a mild twinge and what felt like a dead leg but not bleeding, I rang the doctors and insisted I spoke with a professional who then referred me to the epau. The early pregnancy unit scanned me I was alone and scared and my partner had to wait in the car. they could not see anything in my uterus but it could be simply because I was to early, although I did have a shadow on my right Fallopian tube but was told it didn’t look like a typical etopic pregnancy! That little bit of hope I held on to. I was given a hcg blood test and the level was 401and sent home to return in 48 hours to see if they had doubled.

A day passed and I started feeling dizzy and the pain had got worse, reluctant to go to a & e in the current pandemic I new something was not right. I called the epau who insisted I attended there. I sat in a& e for 3 hours to then be sent back to epau. My hcg level had risen to 500 in 48 hours by this point. The doctor came to see me who said your scan has been reviewed again and we can see your having an ectopic pregnancy to go home and come back for methotrexate. At this point I new if I was to go home things was going to turn out very badly. Having healthcare experience I new sending me home was not in my best interest and I insisted that I stayed in hospital as I felt to unwell to home. I thank my lucky stars and my gut instinct that I argued my case of not having methotrexate as i new it had gone to far. I spent the night in hospital in agony and the following day I was taken for emergency surgery. My tube was rupturing and I had lost 1.5 litres of blood. I was told my ovaries are fine and my left tube looks healthy. I am 3 days post op and feeling very sore and emotionally drained. Never leave any signs and always trust your gut ! Things could of been a lot worse had I of left it. My heart goes out to everyone that has suffered a loss it is truly heartbreaking X

ellie123
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:23 pm

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by ellie123 »

I found out that I was pregnant at an a implant fitting appointment in December about 4 weeks gone. Given my own circumstances and current the state of the world I decided that it would be best to terminate the pregnancy.

I booked a telephone appointment through the sexual health clinic for an abortion consultation, in a weeks time. In the mean time I started bleeding, sort of like a light period. I told the consultant this when I had my appointment and she considered that though they weren’t doing face to face appointments because of COVID-19, a scan maybe be necessary to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. An hour later she called me back to say they weren’t going to bother with a scan and they would just send the home termination package out to me.

I did the termination at home at the beginning of January, I bled for just under 4 days. In the leaflet sent with the medication it said that if I stopped bleeding any sooner than 4 days then to call the clinic back because it likely hadn’t worked. I called back, the lady I spoke to told me she didn’t know what I wanted her to do and just to wait three weeks then take a pregnancy test and go from there.

A week later I collapsed while out running, I managed to make it home and to bed, thinking that it may be appendicitis because the pain was focused on the lower right side. I called 111 and while waiting for a call back I tried to get up and go for a drink then blacked out in the hallway. My sister called for my mum to come and take me to the hospital, she arrived but I only made it to the door before passing out again so she called an ambulance.

The paramedics couldn’t find much wrong with me other than high blood pressure so I was taken to casualty. I fell again in A&E while trying to get a urine sample for the doctor, I cut my head on the bathroom floor. They put me on fluids for dehydration, a gynae came and gave me a quick ultrasound but couldn’t see anything. The pregnancy test was positive.

I stayed over night just taking painkillers and fluids, around 11am I was taken to an ultrasound technician for an internal examination. She found that I had an ectopic pregnancy in my right Fallopian tube and it had ruptured. I was quickly taken back to casualty then within the hour, after a visit from different doctors and surgeons I was taken to theatre to have an emergency laparoscopy to remove the pregnancy.

I spent two further nights in hospital after that because I had lost a lot of blood (700ml+) and I was border line needing a blood transfusion. This was last week, now I’m recovering at home.

Although I understand that medical staff are under immense pressure these days, I still can’t help but feel frustrated that there were two occasions (termination appointment and when I called them back after) when I could have been offered a scan, and my ectopic could have been dealt with before it came to it’s life threatening peak.

Jills_87
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:35 am

Re: Ectopic Pregnancy & COVID19 experiences

Post by Jills_87 »

I found that no visitors due to covid 19 made this journey so much harder. I understand that it's to protect everyone but after my emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic, all I wanted was a hug and to see family. Instead, I was in hospital for a few days and not being allowed to see anyone during one of the toughest times in my life was hardest of all. We had no idea I was pregnant and I attended out of hours wits severe abdominal pain. I didn't even say a proper bye to my husband as I thought I'd be home later that night. However, I collapsed in hospital and had emergency surgery to remove tube and blood. I have found it comforting to read from others who have been through the same but also so very sorry for you all.

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