Can I Get Pregnant After an Ectopic Pregnancy?

If you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy, you probably have a ton of questions for your doctor. One of them likely will be whether you can get pregnant again. And if you can, are the chances now higher that this problem will happen again?

The easy answer to both of those questions is yes: You can deliver a healthy, full-term baby after an ectopic pregnancy. And yes, your odds are slightly higher of having another ectopic pregnancy.

Because you’ve had one fertilized egg fail to implant in the uterus, there’s a little more likelihood that it’ll happen again.

But there are many issues at play that it’s impossible to give one answer for every woman. A lot depends on why your ectopic pregnancy happened and how it was resolved. You also have to consider your history of infertility and other risk factors for ectopic pregnancy.

One thing is certain: If you do get pregnant again, you’ll be in the high-risk category. Your doctor will watch closely from early on to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Medical History

After an ectopic pregnancy, there’s about a 10% chance it will happen again. So, one important issue to think about is the reason for your previous ectopic pregnancy. Your medical history will play a big part in any future pregnancies.

A history of infertility will be the biggest influence on your odds of getting pregnant again -- and, unfortunately, it might also raise the chances of another ectopic pregnancy.

If you have an oddly shaped fallopian tube, or if you have scarring from surgery or a sexually transmitted infection, you’ll probably have a harder time getting (and staying) pregnant.

Smoking raises your odds of an ectopic pregnancy even more. Your age matters, too. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in women in their late 30s and early 40s.

Previous Ectopic Pregnancy

A lot also depends on how your previous ectopic pregnancy was resolved. If it was caught early and the pregnancy ended without intervention, that might make things easier the second time around. The same goes if you had methotrexate (Trexall) injections and no damage to your fallopian tubes.

But it could be a different story if your fallopian tube ruptured and you had internal bleeding that required surgery. Regardless of the type of surgery, there will be scarring even if the tube was fully repaired. This could make a more difficult path for any future fertilized egg.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on October 26, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies. “Fact Sheet: Ectopic Pregnancy.”

Medscape. “Ectopic Pregnancy.”

Mayo Clinic. “Ectopic Pregnancy.”

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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