Welcome to Laurie’s Big Blog – August 2020

Every month we will identify the 6 most commonly asked questions about ectopic pregnancy and answer them. If you have any further questions which you cannot find answers on the website, please can you contact us.

Can you get ectopic pregnancy if you have PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common gynaecological condition with symptoms including irregular menstruation, weight gain, greasy skin, facial spots, hirsutism, and may also be associated with infertility. However, there is no association between PCOS and the development of an ectopic pregnancy.

Can you get ectopic pregnancy twice? What is the likelihood?

Ectopic pregnancy can reoccur in a subsequent pregnancy but over 90 percent of subsequent pregnancies are intrauterine.

Can you get ectopic pregnancy from IVF?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is considered to be a risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. After the ovum is fertilised outside the body in a “test tube” the embryo is placed in the uterine cavity but can occasionally implant in a Fallopian tube.

How is ectopic pregnancy prevented?

Ectopic pregnancy cannot be prevented by sterilisation either done using clips (laparoscopy) or open by removing part of the Fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingectomies). Indeed, sterilisation is considered a risk factor for ectopic pregnancy. Even after a hysterectomy there have been occasionally reports of an ectopic pregnancy. The only absolute way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy is to remove both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy); this cannot be justified.

What’s the difference between ectopic pregnancy and ovarian cyst?

A pregnancy is an embryo which develops into a foetus. A cyst is defined as a fluid-filled structure but can have solid components within. Ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancies can occur together. If the ovum is fertilised the ovary develops a physiological cyst which supports the pregnancy in the first weeks. The cyst is yellow in colour and known as a corpus luteum cyst. These tend to reabsorbed and don’t usually cause problems.