Can an Ectopic Pregnancy Affect Fertility?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

I would like to know how long after an ectopic pregnancy can you try to conceive with little chance of future ectopics.

Doctor's response

There is no real agreement on low long to wait after ectopic pregnancy before re-attempting pregnancy. What we do know is that ectopic pregnancy results in infertility in up to 50% of women, and repeat ectopic pregnancy in about 20% of women. Therefore, no matter how long a woman waits, there will still be a risk of future ectopic pregnancy, or difficulty becoming pregnant, for some, but not all, women who have had an ectopic pregnancy.

After a woman has had evaluation by a doctor to address any possibly treatable components that may have contributed to the ectopic pregnancy, and her beta hCG levels have returned to normal, and she feels physically recovered, she can probably try to become pregnant if she wishes. However, she should always get clearance from her physician, because different women have different medical situations. Waiting longer probably does not affect the increased risk of future ectopic pregnancy.

Medical Author: Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.


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