Lauren Conrad took to her Instagram Story recently to share her personal experience with life-saving reproductive healthcare in the days since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Hills alum wrote on June 28 that “The last few days have been hard. I've been searching for the right words and reposting someone else's didn't feel quite right. Six years ago, while trying to start our family, I had an ectopic pregnancy."
An ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition in which a fertilized egg implants in a location outside the uterus, and an embryo grows outside the womb. The condition can be life-threatening for the mother and always results in a pregnancy loss. There’s no way to remove the fertilized egg and implant it in a safe location inside the uterus.
In 90% of cases, an ectopic pregnancy implants inside a fallopian tube, which is what happened in Conrad’s case.
“Due to prompt medical care doctors saved my fallopian tubes, allowing me to have two healthy pregnancies,” Conrad shares. Luckily, she caught it in time, and has since gone on to have two children, Liam, 4, and Charlie, 2, with husband William Tell.
If left untreated, a growing ectopic embryo may cause the fallopian tube to rupture, causing heavy internal bleeding and even death.
“Yesterday I read about a woman with this same condition having her ectopic pregnancy rupture—and facing death—while waiting for treatment, because her doctor was on the phone with his lawyer out of fear of losing his medical license (for using a D&C as a tool to help establish the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy,” Conrad continues.
“This is heart breaking,” she writes.
Ectopic pregnancy is typically treated with a medication known as methotrexate, which stops fetal cells from growing. The body will then absorb the pregnancy in 4 to 6 weeks. But in some cases, the ectopic pregnancy must first be differentiated from a miscarriage by using a D&C surgery before treatment with methotrexate.
Given the fact that a D&C is the same procedure used for a surgical abortion, many providers have been hesitant to offer it for fear of being in violation of an abortion ban now that Roe has been overturned.
But an ectopic pregnancy is always a life-threatening condition, and always ends in pregnancy loss. A D&C procedure in these instances is necessary to save the life of the mother.
If you think you may be pregnant and have sharp abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or other unusual symptoms, then you may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. This requires immediate medical attention.
Conrad isn’t the only celebrity or influencer to share about having an ectopic pregnancy—or to speak out about abortion rights. Arielle Charnas of Something Navy has also shared her story of having an ectopic pregnancy.
"Many women in my life have had their own experience with abortion," Lauren shares. "I am so grateful that in each case they were able to safely receive the healthcare they needed and were free to make their own decisions."
And though talking about abortion is hard, Conrad says, “we must continue talking—and listening—to each other in a respectful way, especially when we disagree.”
“I hope someday we will be in a place where every woman has access to the healthcare she needs and the freedom to decide what happens in her own body.”