My short bio: Well, as the title says, I recently underwent a bilateral salpingectomy and unilateral oophorectomy. This means that both of my fallopian tubes and my left ovary were removed. In the beginning of February, I discovered I was pregnant, despite having an IUD. The embryo implanted in my left fimbria, though at the time of my IUD removal we could not see it in there. After the removal of my IUD, I began to bleed and it was thought that my situation would resolve itself, i.e. spontaneous abortion. However, my hCG levels continued to rise and though we still could not see the location of the embryo, my doctor decided to give me chemotherapy (methotrexate) to dissolve the pregnancy tissue. After the first round of chemo failed I was given a second, stronger round of it. I subsequently started shedding my hair pretty rapidly and decided to buzz it off. We thought all was well when my blood tests showed a decline in hCG, however, at my next appointment the embryo was still growing and my tube was now at risk for rupture. A 2" cyst had also formed on my ovary so the decision was made to remove both tubes and my left ovary last Thursday. I am now recovering at home--ask me anything.

My Proof: I've compiled an album of photos from the past several weeks.

Comments: 49 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

wastedkarma36 karma

Gynecologist here - what was the reason for removing the other tube? Ectopic pregnancy may result in the loss of one but why the other?

I was expecting a story about opportunistic salpingectomy at the time of removal of a giant ovarian cyst not a story about ectopic pregnancy. Especially when in the comments it seems you weren't done w childbearing.

Can you share some more with us? I am so sorry that your experience was so long and drawn out. I hope you recover quickly!

professor_chameleon2 karma

Hi there, great question. Due to the history of past ectopic (this was my second one as a result of IUD), my OBGYN felt that this was the best course of treatment. I had always hoped to have one more, but I suppose if there were a risk of going through this again, I would have opted not to.

wastedkarma2 karma

So they were clear with you that this surgery would be a sterilization procedure as well? I'm just saddened to hear your feelings of inadequacy about infertility after your surgery. You are most definitely NOT inadequate. It hurts to hear that you feel that way or we're pressured into that.

professor_chameleon1 karma

Well, I elected to undergo two rounds of methotrexate to avoid this scenario, but unfortunately it didn’t work. My tube was going to rupture, so I had to make a choice. The tube without the ectopic could have been left in place, but given my history of ectopic, I didn’t feel like it was worth the risk to keep it in there. IVF is always an option, but an option that is somewhat out of reach.

pryjar22 karma

Are you grieving?

professor_chameleon55 karma

Good question. I think a part of me feels inadequate now because of my infertility. There is always the option to have IVF later on down the line, but it's costly and I'm not even in a relationship. I have a daughter (9), and am grateful that I at least had the opportunity to have her. But yes, I am grieving the loss of my fertility--not the embryo itself.

little_shmink6 karma

As some one who also recently found out they are infertile, I know I grieve. I havent even got the chance to have kids. To me it feels like everyone has this nice thing that I assumed I also have... Then all the sudden they told me "see that nice thing? You dont get to have that." I get really depressed over it. I'm not sure what I can do to stop feeling like this....

professor_chameleon8 karma

Though I can completely empathize with you, it wouldn’t be fair of me to do so, having been able to have one of my own already. Believe me when I say that I feel an immense amount of grief for women who never even get the opportunity. I never really realized how much value society places in pieces of femininity, like hair or fertility. I have friend that was diagnosed with breast cancer recently and just underwent her double mastectomy. My issue seems so insignificant in comparison to the loss of her breasts, and your total infertility. I guess the silver lining is that there are always options available, whether it’s through IVF, surrogacy, or even adoption. No words I can say will make it any easier for you, but just know that you’re definitely not alone in it.

zeaccount4 karma

I am sorry you had to experience that. I obviously do not know you, or how you feel, but please do not fret the fertility part that has nothing to do with your wholeness. :-)

professor_chameleon4 karma

Thank you, that means a lot actually. I know once my hormones level out I’ll feel much better about everything.

Jpsh342 karma

My wife and I went through something similar. We came to the realization that it ultimately doesn’t make you less of a woman. It will take some time for that to truly resonate, at least it did for us, but you will eventually find yourself at peace with it, I hope. Good luck and as the poster below said, you are still whole!!

professor_chameleon1 karma

Thank you. All my best to your wife. I know I’ll feel better about it eventually, it’s just the idea that will take some getting used to.

BarbaraBushsBush13 karma

Surgeon here - what was the reason for removing both tubes? Judging from what you've provided, this sounds like unilateral salpingooophorectomy should have sufficed

professor_chameleon1 karma

Previous ectopic in 2015 led my OB to the decision for removing both. I had a an IUD in 2015 and went through a similar situation, though not as serious or invasive. I still feel like this never would have happened had I not received the IUDs in the first place.

uptoandexcluding5 karma

Firstly, I'm sorry you had to go through that. It sounds like a very long and painful/draining/expensive/exhausting process, but you seem really strong, and smart - thanks for explaining everything so well. I've had 3 laparoscopies (will have another soon) and the gas they use can really make your shoulders hurt! Wiggling them around like an idiot helps.

How is the recovery/pain? Did they give you good meds? Also which IUD/contraception has worked best for you? (I had the mirena and stuck it out for 9 months but it did not work at all for me) What helped/helps you stay calm?

professor_chameleon4 karma

Yes, the gas is quite painful! They provided me with 600mg ibuprofen and some oxycodone. I don't use opioids, so I've been making the most of my heating pad and ibuprofen.

Pain is gradually getting better. My belly button incision is still pretty sore, and standing up straight or stretching isn't pleasant. After all of the contraception I've used in my life, the progesterone only pill was probably my favorite, however, it's not entirely effective and remembering to take it at the same time every day is a hassle.

On the bright side, I don't have to worry about contraception anymore.

SalsaKittyCorral3 karma

After all this, since you still have a uterus, will you still have periods?

I had my hysterectomy at 31, still have my ovaries -- so no menopause and no period and also no risk for cervical cancer. Glorious!

professor_chameleon3 karma

Yes, my uterus and one ovary remain, as well as my cervix. I still have to deal with periods and the risk of uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer. :(

Jennyflur2 karma

How long did you have the IUD in place when you found out you were pregnant?

professor_chameleon5 karma

Funny you should ask. This is the second IUD I've ever had, and the second ectopic I've dealt with. In December of 2015, I had had Paragard for about 8 months before I ended up with that ectopic. However, a single round of chemo took care of it, and I went on Nexplanon. In October of 2017, the VA suggested I give this new IUD (Skyla) a try, after I had complained about Nexplanon side effects, and so I did. It didn't end well for me and I should have just went with my instincts. I had a somewhat normal menses, given that Skyla causes irregular bleeding, in January of 2018 which lasted about three days. I didn't have any spotting or bleeding in February, which is why they suggested I take a home pregnancy test. I had also noticed my breasts beginning to get really hard and sore.

Wheeeler4 karma

That sucks really bad. My wife, who works in women’s health, tried nexplanon for nine months. She bled damn near every day, but she was determined to make it work (after telling so many patients to tough it out). We switched to mirena and haven’t had any problems (still has a regular period though).

It’s crazy, but paragard is actually FDA approved to be used as an emergency contraceptive. These kinds of things tend to work for almost everybody, but it’s heartbreaking to sit down and listen to the other 0.01%. There’s a silver lining here somewhere, and you’ll find it in due time (unless you were in the Air Force or the navy then you might need some help, hooah).

professor_chameleon3 karma

I actually bled everyday with Nexplanon as well...I couldn't stand it. I think the silver lining is learning how fortunate I am to have have had the one kiddo that I did. There are so many women out there unable to have any, even with the support of IVF. It could have ended a lot worse. I still have my right ovary, and don't have to worry about immediate menopause, and if I genuinely wanted to have another baby, I could have my eggs extracted...Honestly, the best part of this is not being in pain anymore. It was pretty excruciating there for a while, especially with how long it took to diagnose and treat everything.

Also, Army. Hooah.

Wheeeler5 karma

immediate menopause

Or osteoporosis! Estrogen also has some protective effect against plaque formation, so your ovary is staving-off cardiovascular disease as well.

professor_chameleon3 karma

Thank you for the clarification. If there's any supplements I should be taking now, let me know.

maggie_20142 karma

Ive had skyla for about almost 2 years and this is my biggest fear

professor_chameleon1 karma

Yeah, I regret it very much. Unfortunately I can’t go back and say no. Though this is a rare occurrence, I would still warn women about them.

rejectedstrawberry-20 karma

I am unclear on what part of your experience is extraordinary enough to be posted to this subreddit. this is a very common health problem. There are things that are far more worthy of being posted in this sub, like say bad luck brian - becoming a meme is far rarer than having a mundane health issue.

I am further puzzled by your need to show us your breasts in that album of images. Theyre nowhere near the surgery location and keeping them outside of view would have been trivial, so it clearly was a conscious choice to show us this. Why? are you sure this subreddit is the right place for you? because im not.

professor_chameleon0 karma

Well, I’m sorry you feel so negatively about it. My entire purpose for posting here was to discuss my experience with anyone who may have an IUD or has gone though something similar.

You are definitely entitled to your opinions, but it has to be said, losing both tubes and an ovary at 31 is actually pretty rare, especially if it’s due to an ectopic.

Photos of incision sites were taken the day of surgery; my apologies for not hiring a photographer that wasn’t affected by general anesthesia.

In any case, best of luck to you!

rejectedstrawberry1 karma

losing both tubes and an ovary at 31 is actually pretty rare, especially if it’s due to an ectopic.

it literally is not, Especially if its ectopic. its incredibly common.

and even when you were made aware that you are needlessly showing us your breasts, you have made 0 effort to remove those pictures and replace them with a better one, which leads me to believe youre here for attention and nothing else.

professor_chameleon0 karma

My point is ectopic is rare, bilateral is more rare. As I said though, best of luck to you. I hope you feel less negatively about women in the future. Sounds like you were burned pretty badly.

rejectedstrawberry1 karma

My point is ectopic is rare, bilateral is more rare

Neither of these are rare,ectopic pregnancies are fairly common and bilateral salpingectomy is common as well, to the point where some women undergo this electively.

I hope you feel less negatively about women in the future. Sounds like you were burned pretty badly.

I like how you A) assume im a man B) assume i have something against other women. I have nothing against you or other women, but your post still does not belong in this sub. or rather, i had nothing against you, until you started with the assumptions, i certainly have something against you now since you have a shitty attitude.

professor_chameleon1 karma

You do, actually. All one really needs to do is reference your past comments on previous posts.

Anyway, I’m done entertaining this though. Best of luck. :)