What are the treatments for ectopic pregnancy?

The ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg by sperm lodges outside the uterus.

The condition is severe and if the condition goes on for 12 weeks without being interrupted or treated, the woman’s health may be compromised.

Read more: What is not normal during pregnancy?

Treatment for ectopic pregnancy can be done through medication or surgery:


 Medication (Methotrexate)

If the embryo is up to 4 centimeters and still does not show a heartbeat, treatment can be done with medication, called Methotrexate .

The substance promotes the absorption of the embryo. The procedure is quick, being applied in a single dose, by intramuscular injection.

Attention: this injection should only be administered with medical advice.


If the embryo is more than 4 centimeters or already showing a heartbeat, surgery is necessary, as it and the placenta are already too large to be eliminated by the body itself.

When the zygote lodges in the tubes or in one of the ovaries, with the growth of the embryo, there is a chance that these structures will be ruptured and cause complications.

If this happens, the compromised place will need to undergo a reconstruction process.

The type of surgery that will be done depends on where the fertilized egg is and what is the degree of emergency.


Laparoscopic surgery is considered a low-invasive procedure, performed with anesthesia and videolaparoscopy (mini-camera that is introduced into the woman’s body).

With this technology, laparoscopy causes less bleeding, reduces pain and prevents deep cuts. All of this prevents the surgical trauma from being too great.

Women who undergo the procedure need to be hospitalized, but are discharged the next day, in most cases.

The recovery time is considered low and a few days after the surgery the patient can already perform simple daily tasks (such as climbing stairs and driving).

Even with this positive recovery, physical activities ( weight training , for example) should be avoided for about 1 month after the procedure.


Salpingectomy is performed when the woman has severe bleeding in the fallopian tubes. In most cases, in addition to interrupting the pregnancy, there is the removal (total or partial) of these structures.

The procedure is also done with the use of anesthesia. Through small cuts in the abdominal region, the fallopian tubes are removed.

The postoperative period may involve restrictions on physical and sexual activities in the weeks following surgery.

If the doctor recommends any medication or diet, the recommendations should be followed strictly.


In emergency cases , the name of the procedure to terminate an ectopic pregnancy is laparotomy, which is done by cutting the belly, at the level of the belly.

This type is the most complicated, as it is sometimes performed after the rupture of the uterine tube, a condition that can cause internal bleeding in women.

Laparotomy is considered invasive, causes severe pain and can leave scars. If not done with the necessary care, it can lead to infections.

In more severe cases, the patient will need breathing apparatus during or after the procedure and even if it is necessary to remain in the ICU.

After undergoing a laparotomy, the time of discharge varies depending on the recovery presented in the hospital.

The removal of sutures (surgical stitches) will also be marked according to the severity of each case.

Medical care

Recovery depends on the type of procedure that was performed. The doctor who performed the procedure can advise the patient on specific care, as they will have access to the recovery chart and the patient’s history.

In general, the food should be with foods that are liquid or pasty (broths, soups, vitamins , yogurt and gelatin, for example).

Solid foods should be gradually reintroduced into the diet. In the beginning, there is a preference for light foods (such as fruits and whole-grain pasta).

When the treatment is done with the intramuscular injection, it is advisable to eat plenty of fluids and foods that contain fiber.


After surgery for ectopic pregnancy, rest and sleep should be prioritized, regardless of the surgical type.

The video procedures have a better recovery that varies between 2 to 3 weeks.

Open surgeries, on the other hand, require, on average, 4 weeks of recovery.

Therefore, physical exercises and sexual activities should be avoided during this period.

In both cases (medication or surgery), the doctor must monitor the patient’s recovery process to avoid future complications.

Ectopic pregnancy is complicated and life-threatening, so it must be stopped.

Treatment requires some specific care and needs to be done as soon as possible to avoid future complications.

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