Acknowledging the loss can go a long way towards healing the complex grief related to ectopic pregnancies
One in four women in Australia experience an early pregnancy loss,1 but I never for one second thought I would be one of them. My partner and I made the decision to try for a family and were delighted to fall pregnant in the first cycle of trying. However, during week 7 of my pregnancy, as I stood in the operating theatre assisting with a caesarean delivery, I began to bleed. My β‐human chorionic gonadotropin (β‐HCG) level was somewhat reassuring as it doubled in 48 hours and there was perhaps hope that this was going to develop into a normal pregnancy. A scan done one week later, along with a suboptimal rising β‐HCG level and continued bleeding, was highly indicative of an ectopic pregnancy. I was a good candidate to try surgery‐sparing methotrexate, but a follow‐up blood test showed a rising β‐HCG level. The following day, I underwent a laparoscopic right salpingectomy, which confirmed a right fallopian tube ectopic pregnancy.
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- 2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Maternal deaths in Australia 2018 [Cat. No. PER 99]. Canberra: AIHW. 2020. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/64189da2‐a826‐4d42‐ad23‐1c36a50ac4ff/Maternal‐deaths‐in‐Australia.pdf.aspx?inline=true (viewed Jan 2021).
- 3. Ankum WM, Mol BWJ, Van der Veen F, et al. Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy: a meta‐analysis. Fertil Steril 1996; 65: 1093–1099.
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