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How is an ectopic pregnancy treated?

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

An ectopic pregnancy can be treated in two ways. If the ectopic pregnancy is caught early, the patient is stable, and there is no internal bleeding, it can be treated with a chemotherapy medication called methotrexate. Methotrexate is a medication that affects the cell cycle and can disrupt the rapid growth of a pregnancy. This will cause the ectopic pregnancy to dissolve and can remedy the problem. If a patient is unstable such as internal bleeding, severe pain or the ectopic pregnancy is greater than 3.5 cm, it is deemed appropriate for the ptient to have surgery. The surgical treatment for an ectopic pregnancy can be performed by either opening the fallopian tube and removing the abnormal pregnancy or removing the entire fallopian tube. It is my preference to always use methotrexate for my patients if possible so as to decrease the chances of them needing surgery. If they do need surgery, I believe that a laparoscopic approach without removing the fallopian tube is the best method.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.