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Risks and complications of IVF treatment

Details the affect of an ectopic pregnancy on future fertility and the prospect of a further ectopic pregnancy.

How does ectopic pregnancy affect future fertility and what are the chances of a repeat ectopic pregnancy?

Unruptured ectopic

Although the prime effect of an ectopic pregnancy is on the woman, the man too has to cope with the stress. It is advisable that before a patient tries for another pregnancy, she and her male partner should allow time to recover, both physically and emotionally. Feelings vary after ectopic pregnancy, with some women wanting to get pregnant immediately, while others find it difficult to cope with the stress and worry about another ectopic pregnancy happening. However, it is important that the woman should be made aware that, however terrifying and depressing the prospect of having another ectopic pregnancy might be, her chance of having a normal healthy pregnancy significantly exceeds that of having another ectopic pregnancy. It is also worth remembering that women who have had an ectopic pregnancy have at least proved their ability to get pregnant.

If one of the tubes ruptured or was removed, the woman will continue to ovulate as before but her fertility will be reduced by about 50%. Of those who get pregnant, the chances of a repeat ectopic pregnancy are between 7-10% depending on the type of treatment carried out and the condition of the remaining tube. If the remaing tube is damaged or absent as a result of previous surgery then IVF treatment can help such patients.

If a woman conceives spontaneously or by IVF, a careful watch must be kept for signs and symptoms of another ectopic pregnancy and, even if mild symptoms of another ectopic occur, they must be taken seriously.Furthermore, it is recomended that such patient have early pregnancy scan in order to document site and viability of the pregnancy.

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