Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Ectopic Pregnancy - Topic Overview

The most common treatments are medicine and surgery. In most cases, a doctor will treat an ectopic pregnancy right away to prevent harm to the woman.

Medicine can be used if the pregnancy is found early, before the tube is damaged. In most cases, one or more shots of a medicine called methotrexate will end the pregnancy. Taking the shot lets you avoid surgery, but it can cause side effects. You will need to see your doctor for follow-up blood tests to make sure the shot worked.

For a pregnancy that has gone beyond the first few weeks, surgery is safer and more likely to work than medicine. If possible, the surgery will be laparoscopy (say "lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee"). This type of surgery is done through one or more small cuts (incisions) in your belly. If you need emergency surgery, you may have a larger incision.

Losing a pregnancy is always hard, no matter how early it happened. Take time to grieve your loss, and get the support you need to make it through this time.

You could be at risk for depression after an ectopic pregnancy. If you have symptoms of depression that last for more than a couple of weeks, be sure to tell your doctor so you can get the help you need.

It is common to worry about your fertility after an ectopic pregnancy. Having an ectopic pregnancy does not mean that you can't have a normal pregnancy in the future. But it does mean that:

  • You may have trouble getting pregnant.
  • You are more likely to have another ectopic pregnancy.

If you get pregnant again, be sure your doctor knows that you had an ectopic pregnancy before. Regular testing in the first weeks of pregnancy can find a problem early or let you know that the pregnancy is normal.

Learning about ectopic pregnancy:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

1|2
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 26, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnancy am i pregnant
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video