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  For Jessica, lost to Cornual Ectopic pregnancy at 13 weeks, April 25, 2003

Current Problems with Diagnosis, Treatment and Follow-up Care of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Being diagnosed with and treated for an ectopic pregnancy can be a whirlwind of activity and emotions.
Unfortunately, there are so many patients' needs that go unnoticed and they are sometimes treated as if they had their appendix removed, not their baby.

Routine women's exams health care:
The Patient-
  1. May not be routinely tested for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases, chlamydia, etc) when receiving their pap smear.
Routine prenatal care:
The Patient-
  1. May not be "allowed" to see the OB/Gyn before 10 weeks.
  2. May not be given the opportunity to have an Ultrasound before 20 weeks.
  3. May not be given blood pregnancy tests of any kind.
  4. May not be given the proper attention with prior ectopic pregnancy history, even after asking for early monitoring.
Before and during diagnosis and treatment:
The Patient-
  1. May not have the situation explained properly to them.
  2. May not have their emotional needs addressed.
  3. May not be told they may lose their tube or other reproductive organs.
  4. May be misdiagnosed (putting the patient's life and future fertility in extreme jeopardy).
  5. May not be given treatment options when available.
  6. May be treated with indifference.
After treatment and/or upon discharge:
The Patient-
  1. May not be informed of future danger of an ectopic pregnancy.
  2. May not be given or told any or very little information about what has transpired within their reproductive system.
  3. May not be advised on future fertility.
  4. May not be advised on treatment follow-up care.
  5. May not be given any information about their baby or what will be done with their baby's remains.
  6. May be told their baby really wasn't a baby and treated as such.
  7. May not be given any information about ectopic pregnancy.
  8. May not be given information on coping with their loss.
  9. May not be given written information.

Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation wants to change the way people think and speak of ectopic pregnancies, to insure the proper diagnosis and treatment of all women suffering from ectopic pregnancies and to insure that they receive the proper support and information before, during and after their treatment.


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