Clomid and Ectopic Pregnancy

Crystal Schwanke
Clomid can help you have a successful pregnancy

According to RxCareCanada.com, there is a slight link between Clomid and ectopic pregnancy. The rate for women who experience ectopic pregnancy after using Clomid is low-1.8 percent--but there is a risk. However, the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy at all are reported to be around 2 percent in other studies.

Some believe there is no link; others believe Clomid and ectopic pregnancy to be related. In most cases, the concerns were not the doctors' but patients who had taken Clomid and then experienced an ectopic pregnancy. Was Clomid to blame?

Finding a Solution for Infertility

Having problems conceiving can be heartbreaking and frustrating. On the positive side, though, there are several fertility treatments available out there now. They can be pricey and can result in multiple births, but they do significantly increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy.

If you do decide to seek fertility treatment, your first attempt will probably involve a drug called Clomid. It's taken orally and costs about $50 per cycle in the United States.

The Story Behind Clomid

If you and your partner decide to seek fertility treatment, you will often first be prompted to consider taking Clomid. Why is it first?

  • It's one of the least expensive methods.
  • It's a pill, not an injection, so it's easy to take.
  • It's frequently used to "jumpstart" the ovaries and determine whether the woman still has usable eggs in reserve.
  • It works with all the tissues that have anything to do with estrogen--from the brain to the ovaries.
  • According to Pregnancy.eMedTV.com, 30 percent of women who had prior trouble getting pregnant succeeded on Clomid. Nearly 8 percent of those pregnancies were multiple births.

While ectopic pregnancy isn't listed as a side effect, risk, or warning for Clomid, there are other adverse effects to consider, such as ovarian enlargement, abdominal discomfort, nausea, headache, breast discomfort, and bleeding between periods. In some cases, patients may experience increased appetite, constipation, vaginal dryness, depression, and weight gain or loss.

A Look at Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. It can implant in the fallopian tube, the abdomen, the ovaries, or the cervix. In most cases--95 percent--the egg implants in one of the fallopian tubes. You may have heard ectopic pregnancy referred to as tubal pregnancy. Other types of ectopic pregnancies are quite rare.

The statistics:

  • Two percent of pregnancies are ectopic.
  • Most ectopic pregnancies occur in women between 35 and 44.
  • Women who are most likely to have an ectopic pregnancy are those who have had one before, those with endometriosis (or other causes for fallopian tube blockage and damage), STDs, smoking, are using an IUD at the time of conception, or suffer from infertility.

The pregnancy, sadly, will not survive regardless of treatment. The good news is that thanks to medical advancements, the mother is likely to live through the treatment. An untreated ectopic pregnancy could cause severe internal bleeding in the mother and eventually death.

The Link Between Clomid and Ectopic Pregnancy

Now that you're armed with information about Clomid and about ectopic pregnancy, the question remains: is there a link between the two? There is no documentation that says Clomid and ectopic pregnancy share a causal relationship. There is not a significant difference in number between ectopic pregnancies in women who used fertility drugs like Clomid and those who did not.

Some patients who have used Clomid and experienced ectopic pregnancies do have suspicions that they were related. There could still be, but as of yet, there's no proof. If you are concerned and would like to speak with other women who have taken Clomid and experienced an ectopic pregnancy, there are fertility messageboards. You can Google those and get the patients' perspectives before starting the drug.

It's always best to speak with your doctor about your concerns when it comes to fertility, your own health, and the health of your unborn child. If you're considering taking Clomid, definitely sit down with your healthcare provider and get his or her take on your chances of ectopic pregnancy while using the drug.

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Clomid and Ectopic Pregnancy