Dealing with a Diagnosis
Understanding how some reproductive conditions affect your chances of conceiving
Many women who suffer a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy want to jump back into action and try to conceive again fast. They are often frustrated by being advised to wait for three months.
One of the ways to document the complete resolution of an ectopic pregnancy, as with a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, is by the levels of HcG (pregnancy hormone) going down to zero. Furthermore, your body will probably not ovulate well until the HcG is gone.
Most women will begin menstruating again sooner than 12 weeks, but the first period may be weird—early or late, light or heavy. It won’t be until you get your second period that you’ll know you’re back to normal cycling again. Still, becoming pregnant before the HcG goes down to zero from the previous pregnancy leads to much confusion: Is the new rising HCG because of a new pregnancy? Or is it that the ectopic pregnancy still has some viable tissue, indicating a continuing dangerous process? Doctors try to keep things clear by separating the two pregnancies from each other: The previous ectopic pregnancy and the hopefully ensuing intrauterine one. In that way he or she can use HcG levels to monitor the resolution of the first with the fetal well-being of the second.
Only One Fallopian Tube
Sometimes women with ectopic pregnancies have to have one fallopian tube removed. And some women are born with or develop only one functioning tube.
Having one fallopian tube removed will make it less likely for you get pregnant in the short term, but as time goes on and there are more ovulations on the side where your remaining tube is, your chances of conception increase—ultimately to the same pregnancy rates as those with both tubes. Your biggest risk in conceiving after an ectopic pregnancy, says Dr. DiLeo, is that whatever made you prone to the first ectopic pregnancy (old infection, scarring, etc.) may also be present in your remaining tube. Check with your doctor about what shape your remaining tube is in.
If you have only ever had one tube, again the longer you try to conceive, the better your chances. It is just a matter of raising the odds of having had more ovulations take place on the side with the tube over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, ovulation kits cannot determine which side you ovulate from; if you retain both ovaries, they “race” to ovulate first, the other falling in function when one has “won.”
Only One Testicle
Some men have lost one testicle to cancer, testicular torsion, accident, or an undescended testicle.
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