Reduce your risk of an(other) ectopic pregnancy naturally
Trying to get pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy can be very scary, especially if you’ve had complications and possibly had to have had one of your fallopian tubes removed. If you’re wondering if you can still get pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy, the short answer is yes, but there’s a lot more detail and information that should go into that if you’re starting to try to get pregnant and you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy. In this video, I’m going to cover my recommendations on how to have a successful pregnancy if you’ve already had an ectopic pregnancy. So keep watching to find out more.
Hi, my name is Dr. Marc Sklar, are also known as The Fertility Expert and welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been working with couples from all over the world for the last 18 years through my online coaching programs and right here in sunny San Diego at both of my clinics. And my goal for all of you is for you to get pregnant in as natural a way as possible. And that’s why in this video today, we’re going to talk about the steps you need to take to help you get pregnant naturally, even if you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy.
So any time we start talking about new topics, like having an ectopic pregnancy, we want to make sure you all understand what we’re talking about. So first and foremost, what is an ectopic pregnancy? Well, the word means outside of. And so in this case, it’s a pregnancy that implants anywhere outside the cavity of the uterus. Now it could be anywhere outside the cavity of the uterus. It could be in the abdominal cavity and the pelvic cavity as well, but most often, about 98, 99% of the time, ectopic pregnancies happen in the fallopian tubes. So they could also be referred to as a tubal pregnancy. And that’s not where we want that to happen. We want that to actually happen in the uterus. This is typically something that happens in the first trimester, although it can extend into the second trimester, but more often than not, this is caught sometime in the first trimester.
Now, what can be the symptoms? Well, the first is you might not have any symptoms whatsoever. You might not know at all that you’re having ectopic pregnancy until you do an ultrasound, and they can’t find the fetus in the uterine cavity. And so then they’re going to look for where else it could be. And more often than not, they’re going to look in the fallopian tubes first. And that’s where it would be. If you are having a severe case, maybe even a rupture, then you could absolutely start to have some signs and symptoms. The first being abdominal pain, and it could be relatively severe abdominal pain as well. Some other signs and symptoms are nausea, feeling faint and fatigued. You could even be having some vaginal bleeding as well as some shoulder pain, but that’s really at a more severe case if it ruptures. And so hopefully we don’t ever get to that point in time.
But having ectopic pregnancy is something that is dangerous and is something that needs to be addressed and assessed and accounted for. So if this is something that is occurring and you do know that this is happening, you want to make sure you’re under the care of your physician, your OB-GYN, or even in severe cases, you’ve got to go to the emergency room to make sure that gets taken care of properly.
More conventional treatment for an ectopic pregnancy are really twofold. One is going to be medication where they’re going to try to move the pregnancy on, cause you to miscarry much sooner. So that way, it does not disrupt the health of the fallopian tubes and hopefully any future pregnancy. In severe cases, they will need to do surgery. And in more extreme cases, they’ll actually have to remove the fallopian tube. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily an uncommon situation that occurs, but I don’t want any of you to feel like if they remove that fallopian tube then your chances of a natural pregnancy dramatically diminish. The reality is, is your fallopian tubes are flexible. I know in the images they look like they’re each sitting on their respective sides and they’re associated with their respective ovaries. But the reality is, is that the fallopian tubes are flexible and moveable. And in the pelvic cavity there, everything’s kind of smooshed together.
So what happens is, is that one healthy fallopian tube can absolutely reach on over to the other side, the other ovary and catch and grab a follicle that’s releasing or an egg that’s releasing in this case and still have a healthy pregnancy. So can it decrease your chances? Yes, it can a little bit, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant at all. There are many, many women that conceive naturally with one fallopian tube. So if you’ve had that situation first and foremost, my heart goes out to you. I know it can be scary, it can be frustrating and really create a lot of anxiety and stress, but don’t fret. You still can get pregnant naturally and that’s really what the rest of this video is going to be about is helping you understand what you can be doing to have a successful pregnancy, even with one fallopian tube.
Now we understand what an ectopic pregnancy is, we have to understand what the risk factors are or the potential causes for an ectopic pregnancy. Now, we don’t know across the board why some women have ectopic pregnancies, but we can make some speculation, some assumptions based on these risk factors, which is what I’m going to jump into right now. So the first and most common risk factor, although hopefully that is fading away and going by the wayside is the use of a drug called DES. Now, this was used for women who were having a miscarriage or were at high risk of a miscarriage. And this was primarily used from the 50s to the 70s. Now it’s no longer used, but what we are finding, and it’s no longer used for these reasons because it wasn’t a safe medication. But what we are finding is that the children, the daughters of these women, and possibly even the granddaughters of these women who took DES are more likely, more prone to have ectopic pregnancies.
So one of the questions that you can always ask your mom and potentially your grandmother, if you can, is, was she prescribed DES when she was younger? If so, that makes you at a higher risk. And you just want to understand this from the beginning so we can start to take precautions and take proper measures now to hopefully prevent that in the future. But as I mentioned earlier, this should be fading away because that medication is no longer used, it’s not allowed. And so you really shouldn’t have that complication as we get generationally away from that.
The next most common risk factor or cause. And this is the one that I think is at the top of the list for most of us is a buildup of mucus. If we are more prone to developing mucus anywhere in the body, then we are going to be more prone to develop mucus in the fallopian tubes. Now, what are the primary causes for mucus build up in the fallopian tubes? Well, number one is going to be Candida in my opinion. Candida is something that I’ve spoken about on many videos and I do think it is a big issue that addresses and affects most of us, and something that we can actually be proactive in addressing and getting rid of. So we need to make sure that we are reducing our risk factors when it comes to Candida. You can check out some of my other videos as I go into much more detail with regards to Candida and Candida treatment.
But the reality is, is Candida can be a big issue. You can do some testing for this, and then some lifestyle changes that will really impact that is going to be diet and lifestyle as well. And so we want to make sure that we address those things. One of the key things that I recommend that we get rid of in our diet is going to be dairy. And number two is going to be sugar. Those are big no-nos when it comes to Candida and can absolutely impact the buildup of mucus. And in this case, the buildup of mucus in the fallopian tubes.
The other reason or reasons for that matter, that mucus can build up is from STDs and infections. And so first and foremost, have you had an STD in the past? If, so, the next question to that is how quickly was that treated the longer? The longer that it persisted, the longer that it was there, the more likely that this is an underlying cause for fallopian tube issues and a blockage in the fallopian tubes, which can absolutely cause an ectopic pregnancy.And then infections in the uterus can also cause the same thing. The most common infection is actually the result of an STD, which is called PID, pelvic inflammatory disease. And we want to make sure that all of that is being addressed properly.
So number three, in terms of a cause is an IUD, intrauterine device. Now this is used to prevent a pregnancy, it’s a contraceptive, but sometimes in some cases, the sperm can get through and can get into the tube and meet the egg. But what it does or what it potentially can cause in a small number of cases is it can impact the functionality of the fallopian tube, which can cause an ectopic pregnancy as well.
Now another risk factor, and this is actually, I’m going to go into several of them as it pertains to this, but the overall category here is called tubal issues. So what are some potential tubal issues that can impact the health of the fallopian tube?
Well, the first one is any defects in the fallopian tube, like if the structure of the tube is impacted in some way, it’s not perfect, then that can cause some kinking or make it more difficult for that embryo to make it through the fallopian tube into the uterine cavity. And so it can cause an implantation to happen in the fallopian tube.
One of the things that can absolutely impact the integrity of the fallopian tube is scarring. The number one reason that I find for scarring is going to be STDs. We talked about that just previously. The other one is going to be surgery. So any surgery can leave behind some scarring or cause that tissue to develop some scarring as a protective mechanism and healing process. And that can make it more difficult for the fallopian tube to function properly because the scarring causes the fallopian tube to not be as flexible and can block up the openings and makes it more difficult for that embryo to make it through.
Any surgery in the pelvic cavity or around the fallopian tube can also impact the health of the tube.
Inflammation in general, we talked about inflammation as it relates to STDs and PID but inflammation in that area can also impact the health of the fallopian tube and the way that it functions as well.
And the last one is going to be endometriosis, which is an inflammatory issue. And I have plenty of videos just on endometriosis, but if we have the endometriosis and it gets into the fallopian tube or at the openings, that can also impact the health and function of the fallopian tube and potentially lead to an ectopic pregnancy.
So smoking, that’s right, smoking tobacco. So nicotine can absolutely impact the functionality, how well the fallopian tubes function. So if you’re a smoker, especially a chronic smoker, one for many, many years, with many, many cigarettes in a day, this can absolutely impact the health of the fallopian tubes. And the reality is that your overall health and your fertility, but we’re talking about your fallopian tubes today and ectopic pregnancies. So we want to get rid of smoking. We want to break that habit and that will help over time to improve the function of your fallopian tubes. Now that alone, like just getting rid of smoking in and of itself will not necessarily do that. I do recommend detoxing and taking some measures to really support the health of the reproductive organs and your body once you stop smoking cigarettes. But that is definitely one piece that needs to be accounted for.
And as we’re talking about detoxification well, medication, so progesterone only birth control and some of the medication that’s used during fertility treatments can also impact the functionality of the fallopian tubes. And so those are things that we need to account for. Now, the percentages of those contributing to an ectopic pregnancy are relatively small, but they are still there and definitely something that we need to be mindful of.
And last but not least, if you’ve already had an ectopic pregnancy, then you are at more risk to develop another ectopic pregnancy, actually 50% more of a risk to have a subsequent ectopic pregnancy. So we want to definitely start to take measures to address these underlying issues and really give you the best chance to have a healthy pregnancy and no ectopics in the future.
So what can you do if you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy or more importantly, if you want to prevent a subsequent ectopic pregnancy and have a healthy pregnancy in the future? Well, I’m going to cover some key supplements that you can start to incorporate into your plan on your own, but I also want you to tune in next week to my next video, because I’m actually going to add in some other supplements and lifestyle habits that you can start to improve that will improve the health of your fallopian tubes and hopefully help you get pregnant.
So first and foremost, essential fatty acids like fish oils. These are great because they’re anti-inflammatories, and we’ve already talked previously in this video about how inflammation can impact the health of the fallopian tubes. So we want to reduce that, but they also help the tissue itself, they help to keep the tissue nice and moist and supple and flexible. And so that’s really important when we’re talking about the health of a fallopian tube and allowing that embryo to make it through the fallopian tube, into the uterus.
Vitamin C is also a very key nutrient here, because again, it is a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps to prevent scarring. We don’t want scarring to build up anywhere, but certainly not in the fallopian tubes, because it’s such a small space and we want to make sure it’s as open as possible, that allows for that embryo to make it through.
And my third recommendation is vitamin E. Vitamin E is so important for so many key functions in the body, but it does help to support the function of the tube and allows it to function properly. So we want to incorporate that if we have had an ectopic pregnancy or are concerned potentially about having one because of the risk factors I mentioned previously.
And last but not least, one of my favorite anti-inflammatories and should be one of your favorite anti-inflammatories is turmeric. Turmeric is a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory, and regardless of where the inflammation is in the body, turmeric can be very, very supportive. And so I recommend all four of these if you’ve had a previous ectopic pregnancy or if you are at risk for having an ectopic pregnancy and you want to help prevent that in the future.
So as I close up, I just want to ask all of you, what did you like about this video? What did you learn in this video that you didn’t know before? Comment below and let me know. I also want to hear from all of you who have had an ectopic pregnancy. Were you able to keep your fallopian tube? And if not, how do you feel about moving forward with another pregnancy? I think it’s really important for all of us to share and be supportive with one another if we’ve had ectopic pregnancies or have had a difficult time conceiving. And so I want to hear from all of you so that we can all start this conversation and really be supportive to one another. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up. If you’re not already a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then make sure you hit that bell to subscribe and find out when my next video comes out.
And actually talking about my next video, it’s going to come out next week and it’s going to be an extension of this one. It’s going to be talking about how to get pregnant with one fallopian tube. And I’m going to dive deeper into the things that you can be doing at home to make that process easier. So tune in next week for my next video and until the next video, stay fertile.