Ectopic Pregnancy (Fallopian tube pregnancy) treatment


#1

We’ve just been told that my wife may have an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby is planted in the fallopian tube or elsewhere).
If this does not automatically result in a miscarriage, what is the Church’s teaching on treatment?
All I have read so far makes it sound like an abortion (surgery or meds designed to kill the baby) so we are very confused and concerned. Any info or references on this would be greatly appreciated.


#2

[quote="James924, post:1, topic:216031"]
We've just been told that my wife may have an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby is planted in the fallopian tube or elsewhere).

If this does not automatically result in a miscarriage, what is the Church's teaching on treatment?
All I have read so far makes it sound like an abortion (surgery or meds designed to kill the baby) so we are very confused and concerned. Any info or references on this would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

I know I already responded in the prayer thread, but...

Talk to a priest first and foremost. Don't take our advice on the forums as the final word.\

Secondly, I do believe abortion is ok in an ectopic pregnancy (see: link I provided in other thread).

Prayers for you and your wife!


#3

Please contact the National Catholic Bioethics Center

ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183

If you have don't have access to a pro-life OB, try onemoresoul.com/

Lastly, try contacting the Sisters of Life. sistersoflife.org/

I had a similar occurance.

Taking methotrexate is not permitted

Removing only the embryo is not permitted

The fallopian tube needs to be removed. It will be a case of double effect. A competent NFP only doctor will be able to determine if and how surgery takes place. In my experience secular doctors are too jumpy for a quick decision.

In my case, I actually miscarried, but we NEVER were able to determine if it was an actual ectopic or natural miscarriage.

Prayers...I know time is of the essense, but on the EWTN website, in the question and answer section Judie Brown will forward your question to Dr. Dardano.


#4

[quote="coolduude, post:2, topic:216031"]
Secondly, I do believe abortion is ok in an ectopic pregnancy (see: link I provided in other thread).

[/quote]

Direct abortion is never allowed, regardless of the situation.

In this case, and I am sorry for you, OP, the moral option is to remove the tube, although the baby would die as an unintended result. Just as if a woman had a cancerous uterus and was also pregnant....the removal of the uterus would be acceptable even though the baby would die as a result.

To deliberately remove or kill the baby with drugs would be abortive, and would never be moral.

Many prayers.


#5

[quote="sanctareparata, post:4, topic:216031"]
Direct abortion is never allowed, regardless of the situation.

In this case, and I am sorry for you, OP, the moral option is to remove the tube, although the baby would die as an unintended result. Just as if a woman had a cancerous uterus and was also pregnant....the removal of the uterus would be acceptable even though the baby would die as a result.

To deliberately remove or kill the baby with drugs would be abortive, and would never be moral.

Many prayers.

[/quote]

Yes, sorry about that. I'm not the most educated in this subject, but I thought I could (maybe) help. I'll keep quiet next time :o


#6

[quote="coolduude, post:5, topic:216031"]
Yes, sorry about that. I'm not the most educated in this subject, but I thought I could (maybe) help. I'll keep quiet next time :o

[/quote]

It's in the article from New Advent you linked to as well....:)

"Ethics, then, and the Church agree in teaching that no action is lawful which directly destroys fetal life. It is also clear that extracting the living fetus before it is viable, is destroying its life as directly as it would be killing a grown man directly to plunge him into a medium in which he cannot live, and hold him there till he expires.

"However, if medical treatment or surgical operation, necessary to save a mother's life, is applied to her organism **(though the child's death would, or at least might, follow as a regretted but unavoidable consequence), **it should not be maintained that the fetal life is thereby directly attacked. Moralists agree that we are not always prohibited from doing what is lawful in itself, though evil consequences may follow which we do not desire. The good effects of our acts are then directly intended, and the regretted evil consequences are reluctantly permitted to follow because we cannot avoid them. The evil thus permitted is said to be indirectly intended. It is not imputed to us provided four conditions are verified, namely:

That we do not wish the evil effects, but make all reasonable efforts to avoid them;
That the immediate effect be good in itself;
That the evil is not made a means to obtain the good effect; for this would be to do evil that good might come of it — a procedure never allowed;
That the good effect be as important at least as the evil effect.

All four conditions may be verified in treating or operating on a woman with child. The death of the child is not intended, and every reasonable precaution is taken to save its life; the immediate effect intended, the mother's life, is good — no harm is done to the child in order to save the mother — the saving of the mother's life is in itself as good as the saving of the child's life."

This is the principle of double effect Mart Gail mentioned.


#7

This is the site I found when I read your prayer request. It has lots of resources listed at the bottom of the article. Plus, as you mentioned you are going to the Clinic, Catholic in faith base... so you should be fine.

You wife's life can ABSOLUTELY be saved should this get really bad. Sadly, she may lose one of her tubes push come to shove. And sadly, this PG, may not be viable. I'm so sorry for that.

Again, many prayers... and many hugs... to your wife too. I'm sure the devistation right now is overwhelming...


#8

Is it possible to ever become pregnant again after the removal of the Fallopian tube?

Thanks for all answers so far.


#9

[quote="James924, post:8, topic:216031"]
Is it possible to ever become pregnant again after the removal of the Fallopian tube?

Thanks for all answers so far.

[/quote]

Ok, I was wrong on the last one, but here's my answer for this (I apologize if I'm coming off as obsessed or something; sorry :o :()

I believe a woman has 2 Fallopian tubes, just as they have 2 ovaries. So removing one tube would be like removing one ovary- you can still get pregnant but it's harder.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong :o


#10

Absolutely. She has two tubes, so while it may be a bit harder and take longer to conceive, it’s definitely still very possible. Provided, of course, there are no defects in the tubes which may have caused this to happen in the first place…but your doc would know that.


#11

[quote="James924, post:8, topic:216031"]
Is it possible to ever become pregnant again after the removal of the Fallopian tube?

Thanks for all answers so far.

[/quote]

Absolutely!!!!! In the same way that you only need ONE sperm (out of a gazzilion). You only need one ovary and tube.

Ovaries, generally (but not always, 'cause we all work a tiny bit different due to hormones and such), fire off every other month... Jan (ovary A), Feb (ovary B), March (ovary A)...

That's the super simple explanation... But the jist.


#12

First, we must look into WHY abortion is wrong. Abortion is murdering an unborn child, and murder is wrong.

However, the rule states that when a complication arises, every effort must be made to save BOTH the woman and her unborn child.

In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the baby is growing outside the womb. It WILL NOT LIVE and it can also kill the mother. Extreme caution and sensitivity is needed, and in every case I've heard about, the unborn child ends up dying because it has to be removed from where it is growing, and it is no longer able to attach itself in a new place inside the mother's womb. Also, the fallopian tube has to be removed.

I suggest talking to a priest and your doctor about this issue. This is a very sad case.


#13

[quote="James924, post:8, topic:216031"]
Is it possible to ever become pregnant again after the removal of the Fallopian tube?
Thanks for all answers so far.

[/quote]

Yes, absolutely, it is possible:yup:!!!!
I have two relatives who have had a child after the removal of a Fallopian tube, and one who has had several since then.
You & your wife have my prayers at this very difficult & stressful time.
:byzsoc: :gopray2: :gopray2: :gopray2: :byzsoc:

:hug1: :hug1:

God bless.


#14

Aside from going to the Paul VI Insititute, ***see a high-risk pregnancy doctor. ***If your doctor is a regular obgyn, you need to change.

I had a high risk pregnancy from 2 different angles and no one suggested that I switch to a high-risk pregnancy doctor, which they should have done.

Ectopic pregnancies usually occur in the fallopian tube, which will probably deteriorate as a result. The tube can be removed. If the baby is removed in order ot remove the tube, then the death of the baby is not the intended effect but an unintended side-effect. That is why this is all right.

The drug they use for this nowadays has as its only function to kill the child. The death of the child is the “cure” and as such is the intended goal, making it morally equivalent to a regular abortion. For that reason, it is not ok to use the drug.

Prayers for your family.


#15

[quote="James924, post:8, topic:216031"]
Is it possible to ever become pregnant again after the removal of the Fallopian tube?

Thanks for all answers so far.

[/quote]

I had an ectopic pregnancy in 1968. After the surgery the doctor told me that I would be less fertile than I might have been. Well, I got pregnant after one slip in the "rhythm" method - me son was born in March 1970. Then I went on the pill (I was not truly faithful at that time). In March 1972 we decided to try for another child, so I came off the pill at the end of that month. My second son was born in January 1973. I had been off the pill 2 weeks when I got pregnant!

Becoming pregnant again after an ectopic depends on how fertile you are. In my case, it appears that I was very, very fertile. But, it is, indeed, possible to become pregnant again.


#16

I am so sorry - praying for you and your wife.


#17

You can be ok if you only have one fallopian tube, just have more sex later to try and get pregnant again. It only takes 3 minutes max.


#18

[quote="James924, post:1, topic:216031"]
We've just been told that my wife may have an ectopic pregnancy (where the baby is planted in the fallopian tube or elsewhere).

If this does not automatically result in a miscarriage, what is the Church's teaching on treatment?
All I have read so far makes it sound like an abortion (surgery or meds designed to kill the baby) so we are very confused and concerned. Any info or references on this would be greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

These are the ones to call :
ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183

As also recommend by Catholic Answers

Good Article for you: ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=940


#19

First my apologies to the person using the name St Francis. This is simply the most concise quotable; no direct attack is intended.

I could not disagree with this reasoning more. The death of a human being as incidental to a treatment is not justifiable on those grounds alone. The known, reasonable outcome of an intentional action is morally equivalent with a direct action.

To the OP, I pray that your doctor and priest guide you to a moral and medically appropriate decision, but please don’t accept facile reasoning as a factor in your decision. That is the kind of nagging doubt that you do not need for the rest of your life.

I hope that you (yourself, your priest, and your doctor) can come to a workable decision on viability versus your own health, but knowingly removing a perfectly good tissue to sanitize an abortion is just dishonest. If the tube is not viable at this stage of the pregnancy, by all means get rid of it. There is nothing wrong with that. The whole argument presented strikes me as analogous to using contraceptives to treat acne.

I have never run across something claiming to be a teaching (not Doctrine, but merely teaching) that I found so abhorrent as the advice given on this issue.

I will now humbly shut up.


#20

Catholics United for the Faith has an interesting article on this:
cuf.org/FaithFacts/details_view.asp?ffID=57

One thing mentioned is that most moral theologians consider it acceptable to remove the entire tube, AND also acceptable to remove a portion of the tube. I’m mentioning that distinction because I didn’t see it mentioned yet in this thread. So if your OBGYN mentions this as an option, it’s not any less moral than removal of the entire tube.

Also note the “if only” section at the end of the article. It discusses a case in which an embryo was re-implanted in the uterus successfully. I’m not sure if MD’s are willing to attempt this or not, but I know it would be a question I would ask if I were in that situation.

You said that it is not definite that this is the case. Praying that it turns out to be a healthy pregnancy, and that even if it is, your discernment (and your wife’s health) is blessed.


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