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Methotrexate for ectopic pregnancy

(23 Posts)
purpleflower23 Thu 07-Apr-16 11:27:22


I posted a couple of weeks ago about what I thought was a miscarriage/query ectopic (original thread here - Thank you to everyone who replied.

It turns it is ectopic and I've just spent 2 nights in hospital being monitored. It was finally decided that I was suitable for medical management rather than surgery and am now at home following a methotrexate injection, to be followed up by blood tests in a few days to see if my hcg level starts to come down.

So I just wondered if anyone else who's been treated for an ectopic with methotrexate could share their experiences with me to give me some idea of what to expect? I've been looked after really well by the hospital staff and have lots of good literature, etc. but I thought it would be good to hear some personal experiences as well (although I understand that everyone's experiences will differ).

Thank you so much x

OP’s posts: |
lavendersun Thu 07-Apr-16 11:38:20

I had methotrexate for an ectopic in 2005. To be honest I don't remember too much about the experience after the initial awfulness.

I do remember that it took four weeks for me to have a period which must mean it took a while for the hcg levels to reduce.

Best wishes to you flowers.

purpleflower23 Thu 07-Apr-16 14:40:40

Thanks lavendersun smile

OP’s posts: |
noideanow Thu 07-Apr-16 14:46:36

Sorry you're going through this purple.

I has methotrexate in 2010. I think I was a unusual case, but it took 10 weeks for my Hcg levels to drop to below 5. I didn't have a period until more than 3 months after my methotrexate shot.

I hope it's not the same for you (they said I set a record), but it's maybe best to prepare yourself for several weeks of bloods.

Hugs to you.

noideanow Thu 07-Apr-16 14:49:31

I just read your previous thread. Apologies, should've has red or before I posted. My Hcg levels were over 8,000 so I doubt yours will take anywhere near that long to drop.

PolterGoose Thu 07-Apr-16 14:56:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purpleflower23 Thu 07-Apr-16 14:57:02

Thanks noideanow - my levels are at 1600ish so hoping it won't take too long to go down but I guess there's no way of knowing as everyone reacts differently?! They said I wouldn't have been eligible for medical if the levels had been over 5000 and would have had to have surgery (which I'm v. nervous about). So sorry you had to go through this too and thanks for your kind words x

OP’s posts: |
DessertOrDesert Thu 07-Apr-16 15:37:56

So sorry to hear this.
The best place I found for info on ectopic was the ectopic pregnancy trust forums
Mine was surgically removed, but I've subsequently had 2 healthy pregnancies. Look after yourself flowers

noideanow Thu 07-Apr-16 16:06:49

Maybe that's why it took so long to work then!

My levels were all over the place. Levels doubled on first 48hr test too, which they said categorically stated wouldn't happen if ectopic.

They were wrong. It think they might have gone ahead with Mx for me because they couldn't find the pregnancy (it was a pregnancy of unknown location) so surgery could've been instrusive and risky. Who knows. They weren't great at explaining things.

Hope you're taking it easy and being looked after.

purpleflower23 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:29:52

Thanks ladies. The ectopic pregnancy trust website is brilliant, I've not looked at the forums yet DessertorDesert so will do that, thank you.

I'm expecting that this might take some time, I just really hope it works!

How did everybody feel, physically and emotionally, during the treatment?

Thank you xx

OP’s posts: |
ThreeLeggedCat Fri 08-Apr-16 20:01:52

I had methotrexate for an ectopic. It totally wiped me out. I was knackered and basically sat on the sofa watching crap TV for a few weeks. You need a diet low in folic acid, so steer away from the leafy green veg! You may need to have a second shot if it doesn't work first time. And be prepared for the fact it might not work and you might end up in surgery anyway (that's what happened to me).

If you have other kids pull in favours now, extra nursery sessions and extra time for my LO with Grandparents was my saviour.

Also, I seemed to deal with it very well at the time, I remember being very matter of fact about it all, then it hit me emotionally a few weeks later when, physically it was all over.

Be kind to yourself. I spent lots of time on the Ectopic Forums but still felt very isolated, as nobody I knew had gone through it.

purpleflower23 Fri 08-Apr-16 21:09:16

Thank you ThreeLeggedCat your message is really helpful, I'm not feeling unwell (yet) but totally wiped out as you say. It's only been 2 days so far but I've literally done nothing.

Folic acid makes sense as obviously I've stopped taking the vitamins. Seems weird after 3 years taking pre-conception vitamins and eating my greens!

I don't have any children, this is my third pregnancy loss (on my dark days it feels like I'll never be a Mum)

I'm also feeling OK emotionally which has surprised me, I think I'm going through the motions and wanting the physical process to be over - I keep expecting it to hit me emotionally, maybe that will come in a few weeks.

Thank you again, your words really helped xx

OP’s posts: |
purpleflower23 Tue 12-Apr-16 15:47:22

So my day 4 blood results came back and the levels have gone up from in the 1600s to 2200. I was expecting it to go up a little as I read that it can take a few days for it to work but wasn't expecting it to go up that much so feeling a little deflated sad

Currently waiting to get the results back from my day 7 blood test, really hoping it's starting to go down. If it goes up again I'm not sure if they'll offer me a second shot or will I have to go for surgery?

Any thoughts?


OP’s posts: |
ThreeLeggedCat Tue 12-Apr-16 20:20:10

In my local hospital they will do a second shot. Although I did have a second shot the lovely nurse that did it said it was unusual and she hadn't had to give a second one for a long time.

Sorry to hear that your bloods are still going up. Have been thinking about you and hoping the Methotrexate did the trick.

There is hope though, so don't lose all hope. At the grand old age of 39, with only one Fallopian tube, I conceived first month of trying and the result is snoring away upstairs!

ThreeLeggedCat Tue 12-Apr-16 20:21:13

That is, first month of trying, after having to wait the three months after the Methotrexate.

purpleflower23 Fri 15-Apr-16 19:42:42

Thanks ThreeLeggedCat and sorry for late reply - it's been a hell of a week! My levels did come down on the day 7 blood test which was a big relief but then the next day I was really poorly, heavy bleeding, severe abdo & leg pain & feeling shocking so we went to down to the hospital. I've never experienced pain like it & was convinced the EP has ruptured. After some morphine & various tests including another BhCG blood test, the consultant concluded it hadn't ruptured & I didn't need surgery unless I really wanted it (?!) & that my levels had plummeted to 500! I couldn't believe it had dropped so much in less than 2 days but I guess that maybe explained why I was in so much pain - it was obviously taking a while to work & then a lot seemed to happen at once! Feeling loads better today. Next blood test on Tuesday so fingers crossed it continues to drop. Xx

OP’s posts: |
somethingfromnothing Fri 15-Apr-16 19:56:58

I have had 2 ectopic pregnancies and both of mine have been managed expectantly, which essentially means they went away without treatment. Both times my HCG levels fluctuated for a few days. I found that my levels dropped massively after experiencing symptoms similar to what you were describing above. The leg pain was horrendous. I hope you are doing okay and that your HCG is continuing to fall flowers

ThreeLeggedCat Fri 15-Apr-16 21:28:05

You poor chicken, that sounds horrible. It does sound like it was detaching, which I think causes the pain. The pain is horrible, It's like labour pain, only it's continuous, not in waves. Having spoken to a few women since who've had ectopics, they've all said the pain was the worst pain you can have. Hopefully it's all sorting itself now and you'll get better from now.

I ended up in A&E twice during my ectopic due to the pain. My poor husband had to convince me to go (even though it was blatantly obvious to everyone else I needed to go to hospital). I wouldn't go because I knew some doctor would have to put his hand up my ladybits and it would hurt (more). He persuaded me to go - and I was right about the internal exam but due to being high on morphine managed to tell everyone at high volume about it smile.

Also, I don't know if this applies to you, but I really lost confidence in my body. Everybody I knew at the time was effortlessly popping out babies, and here was me with my stupid body, taking 6 months to conceive and then not managing to do that properly as it was ectopic. You will move past it, and you will get confidence back in your body. Now, nearly 5 years later, I only really think about my ectopic in passing, and it doesn't hurt any more.

Thinking of you flowers

purpleflower23 Fri 15-Apr-16 22:04:55

Thank you so much for your lovely messages somethingfornothing and ThreeLeggedCat - they made me well up. It's so reassuring to hear similar experiences to mine, sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world going through this!

The pain was unbelievable! If I ever do give birth it will be a doddle after that!! At least I've had 24 hour open access to the gynae ward at my local hospital since this started so I don't have to go through A & E, I can self refer straight to the ward (which I've done twice already). All the staff are lovely and are getting to know me quite well now!

ThreeLeggedCat - I could have written your last paragraph myself, everywhere I look people are having babies, including 2 women I know who've had unplanned pregnancies... I've had 2 miscarriages and now this ectopic and we still don't have any children sad

Onwards and upwards... xx

OP’s posts: |
somethingfromnothing Tue 19-Apr-16 17:57:56

How are you purple ?

NotSpartacus Wed 20-Apr-16 07:56:17

Purple flower, I'm sorry I didn't spot this until now. I had methotrexate in 2008 and it was tremendously painful about 36 hours after the shot. One side of my tummy swelled up hugely (where the ectopic was) in the middle of the night and I would have said the pain was 7 or 8 out of 10. It was very frightening and I sat there thinking "if this doesn't die down in the next 30 mins I'll have to go to A&E". Fortunately I was also googling a lot and found something (Mayo Clinic website?) describing it as separation pain (when the embryo comes away from the tube). The next day I was exhausted which wasn't helped by my mate calling at 9am to announce her pregnancy, but anyway... My levels dropped to normal within a couple of weeks - that last bit of HCG disappears more slowly than the rest for me.
Anyway, I just wanted to post so anyone searching might find this and be a bit less scared. I hope you are feeling better now.

purpleflower23 Wed 20-Apr-16 18:12:06

Thanks for the message NotSpartacus - it really helps to hear other people's stories, definitely makes you feel less alone. I wish I had known about separation pain, I just totally wasn't prepared for it. The hospital leaflet just said you might have 'mild abdominal pain' (must have been written by a man!!) so I was terrified that the severe pain I was in must be because of a rupture. It's really bad that we do have to do so much googling (and how did women cope before Google?!) why don't the medical professionals prepare us better?

Thanks somethingfromnothing - I'm feeling SO much better, still not totally back to 'normal' but getting there and feeling stronger each day, still pretty tired from the MTX but it's 'only' day 14 so it's par for the course I guess. Had blood test results back today and it's down from 500 on Thursday to 81 which is amazing! Let's hope the last bit doesn't take toooo long to go down...!


OP’s posts: |
somethingfromnothing Wed 20-Apr-16 20:47:48

That's great! I found myself getting so stressed out about HCG levels and how quick they were dropping. I don't think it will be long before it drops to 0 given how far it's fallen.

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