Methotrexate

Methotrexate is administered to mothers who have been diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy very early in their pregnancy (generally about 6 weeks and under).  It can be given orally, however, it is usually recommended that it be administered by injection, with either one or two injection sites.   It is considered a noninvasive procedure and reduces the amount of scarring to your reproductive organs.   On rare occasions, this medication may also be administered after laparoscopic surgery to prevent any cells from growing that may have been left behind.

The medication will simply tell your baby to stop working.

After the medication is administered, you will probably be allowed to return home, with a follow up appointment a few days to a week later.

Within that time, your baby’s efforts to grow will be rested to the point that the baby dies.

You will bleed just as in a natural miscarriage, for at least the first few days.

You can make this birth method more meaningful by incorporating your own birth plan.

How far along are you?  Because ectopic pregnancy can be fatal to the mother unless the pregnancy ends as quickly as possible, I will only include very early development links to fetal information (and there is a probability that the development of an ectopic baby may be a little different; still, it can be nice to have a general idea of what your baby’s last developments will be):

Your doctor will advise you against using any of the following, as they can interfere with the concentration of medication:

  • vitamins containing folic acid (including prenatal vitamins)
  • alcohol
  • penicillin
  • ibuprofen

Your doctor will also cover side effects and warning signs with you, including discussing the potential risks Methotrexate (possibly referred to as chemotherapy) can have on trying to conceive in the near future.  Some studies indicate that the medicine from Methotrexate may remain present in your own body’s cells for up to 7 months after use; doctors generally recommend waiting at least one ovulation cycle before TTC after Methotrexate to prevent complications in fetal growth in the subsequent pregnancy.

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