Question:

Hi! I'm 28 years old and I have a seven-month-old baby. A few months after I had my baby I got pregnant again and I was bleeding a lot one day, like a bad period and chunks. Well, it turned out I was having a miscarriage, but to be sure the doctor referred me to another doctor who thought it was a possible ectopic pregnancy, where the baby is in my tube. They had me sign something saying I'm going to have surgery to remove it. Anyhow, they checked my tubes and nothing was there; it was just a miscarriage. Yesterday I was talking to a nurse at my clinic and she mentioned what I went through and she said it's possible that the doctor could have torn my tube while checking me for that and next time I get pregnant the baby might not make it if they are torn. Is it possible they could have torn me while checking ? I think they checked both tubes. Do you know anything about this?

Answer:

An ectopic pregnancy means that the child began growing outside of the uterus. When this happens, it is most often in one of the tubes. Obviously, there is not enough space in the fallopian tubes to support a growing child, nor are the necessary nutrients available. The child will die, but the growing child in the meantime will exert pressure on the tube, causing pain and possible rupturing. Therefore, anytime a mother experiences pain or bleeding early in a pregnancy, it is a cause for concern.

The standard procedure is to locate the child using an ultrasound machine. The problem is that if the child is under six weeks, it is hard to spot because of its finite size. Thus, many times the child is not found and the doctor should have the mother return in a few days to have her hormone levels checked. If the hormones indicating pregnancy are decreasing, then it is safe to assume that a miscarriage has taken place. If the hormones continue to rise, then additional steps have to be taken. From your description, it sounds as if the doctor chose to do a laparoscopy, where a viewing tube is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall into the uterus. This allows a direct view in each fallopian tube. You stated nothing was found, so no surgery was done on the tubes themselves.

Unless you are having complications, such as internal bleeding, it is highly unlikely that your tubes were torn. There is a small chance that walls of the tubes become roughened up from the viewing tube causing scar tissue to form. This scar tissue would make it difficult for future embryos to travel down the tube and thus increasing the chance of a tubal pregnancy. Whether this will be a problem in your case would remain to be seen. The nurse was probably talking about general possibilities. If you have concerns, talk with your gynecologist. She should be able to tell you exactly what was done and what the probabilities are for future complications. Most likely you will be cautioned to see the doctor on the least suspicion of being pregnant and having pain or bleeding.