Journal of Human Reproductive Science
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-165
Ectopic pregnancy after infertility treatment


Dr. Patil's Fertility and Endoscopy Clinic, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhuri Patil
Dr. Patil's Fertility and Endoscopy Clinic, Bangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-1208.101011

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Early pregnancy complications are more common in women who conceive after infertility treatment. Most of these occur before 12 weeks of gestation and include miscarriage, vaginal bleeding, intrauterine hematoma, vanishing twin, and ectopic pregnancy (EP). The incidence of EPs following infertility treatment is much higher compared with that in spontaneous pregnancies. The occurrence of an EP is very distressing to an infertile couple, who has lots of hopes pinned on the treatment outcome, especially because of the cost incurred and the physical and mental trauma both have gone through during the treatment process. The association between infertility and EP is complex, as it can be a consequence of infertility as well as a cause. The two principal risk factors for an EP are genital tract infections and tubal surgeries. Though several etiologies are proposed, but patients with tubal factor infertility are at an increased risk of an EP. Earlier diagnosis of EP helps to improve prognosis and optimize subsequent fertility. It is pivotal to evaluate the likelihood of subsequent occurrence of an EP and be too vigilant when treating. The correct choice of the treatment modality should be made to prevent the recurrence. The early prediction of the pregnancy outcome therefore has great importance for both the couple and clinician. Today with the help of sensitive beta human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) assays and transvaginal sonography, one can diagnose an EP prior to symptoms, and conservative treatment for the preservation of the fallopian tube is possible. Conservative management in the form of expectant and medical management should be considered as a first-line treatment modality, provided that the overall clinical picture suggests that it is safe to do so. If not, laparoscopic management of EPs appears to be the favored approach of management as compared to laparotomy.


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