-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Fertility rates are
about the same for women who undergo different types of treatments
for ectopic pregnancy, according to a new study.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg grows outside the
uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. This typically leads to a
This study looked at pregnancies among more than 400 women in
France two years after their ectopic pregnancy had been treated
using one of three methods: methotrexate injection to halt the
pregnancy; conservative surgery, which preserves the fallopian
tube; and radical surgery, which removes the fallopian tube.
The first part of the study compared drug treatment and
conservative surgery, while the second part compared conservative
and radical surgery. The researchers did not directly compare drug
treatment and radical surgery, because some women must be treated
Pregnancy rates two years after treatment were 67 percent among
women who received methotrexate, about 70 percent among those who
had conservative surgery and 64 percent among those who had radical
The study was published online March 13 in the journal
"This is the first randomized study to be able to compare fertility after the three treatments for ectopic pregnancies," Dr. Perrine Capmas, a gynecology surgeon and obstetrician at the University Paris Sud, said in a journal news release. "We found that two years after treatment, there was no significant difference in fertility among the women who received medical treatment or conservative surgery in the first arm of the study, or women who received conservative or radical surgery in the second arm."
Experts welcomed the findings.
"This is good news, as it reaffirms our experience that [nonsurgical] medical treatment is sufficient in most cases of ectopic pregnancy that are picked out early enough," said Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore University Hospital, in Manhasset, N.Y.
And Dr. Jennifer Kulp Makarov, a fertility specialist at
Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, said the statistics on
fertility were strong, no matter what treatment was used.
"This ... is good news for women who have had an ectopic pregnancy. It gives confidence that women treated for ectopic pregnancy, whether with surgery or with medication, have high rates of fertility after treatment," Makarov said. "The majority of women who desired to become pregnant after treatment for an ectopic pregnancy were able to do so, and most of these pregnancies were located in the uterus."
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