The Patients Experience 3

Although this happened a long time ago, I thought you might be interested to read about my experience of an ectopic pregnancy.

I was a healthy young mum with a year old son when my husband and I decided to try for a second child. My first pregnancy had been uneventful and there was no reason to believe my second would be any different.

I stopped taking the pill and had a normal period. Four weeks later I started ‘spotting’. Assuming this was another period initially, I wasn’t too concerned, but when this continued for two weeks I went to see my GP who gave me an internal examination. As I had no pain or other symptoms, he put the bleeding down to my body adjusting to coming off the pill. The next day I began bleeding heavily, losing clots and when this didn’t stop, I returned to my GP two weeks later. Again, he offered me the same explanation as before. The following week I had incredible cramps and felt faint and dizzy with a very tender tummy afterwards. The cramps felt central as opposed to one sided, lasted about an hour and then passed. This happened a further three times over the next week and I knew that despite my GP’s reassurances something was really wrong.

I returned to my GP for the third time in as many weeks and he again gave me an internal examination, which was so painful that I nearly shot off the couch. He decided to refer me to a gynaecologist at this point. Never did he do or suggest a pregnancy test.

Ten days later I was admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain. An ultrasound confirmed that I was pregnant, but the pregnancy was in the tube – an ectopic pregnancy.

I was devastated. I wanted to be pregnant again, but not like this. I felt stupid, why hadn’t I realised I was pregnant? I had been pregnant before, I should have known! I was scared too. I was told that I had to have an emergency operation and they might have to remove not just the pregnancy, but possibly my fallopian tube and even my womb. I felt guilty because I wanted more children and knew that I should be grateful for the fact that I already had my little boy, but I didn’t want to lose my chance to conceive again.

My husband was called, the paperwork signed and I underwent my operation praying that I wouldn’t end up having a hysterectomy. They found an eleven week pregnancy about to rupture at the end of my right fallopian tube. Most ectopics don’t get this far, but I was told that because mine was sited at the end of the tube, it had been able to grow to the size it had. I was lucky – my tube was saved and so was my womb! Coping with a lively fifteen month old after surgery was hard, but I made a good recovery and exactly a year later my second son was born. Twenty two months after that, my daughter arrived. Both these pregnancies were trouble free followed by straightforward deliveries. Obviously, on finding myself pregnant I was worried about them being ectopic, but early scans confirmed that they were in the uterus. My children are now healthy teenagers. I hope my story gives hope to women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy, to show that it is possible to conceive again successfully.