10:10am Thursday 5th April 2012
By Abigail Woodcock
Ectopic pregnancies are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Reporter ABIGAIL WOODCOCK talks to a mother who lost three unborn children through the condition.
A MOTHER who was left traumatised after suffering from abnormal pregnancies is raising awareness of the condition.
Charinna Batchelor, from Erith, has had multiple ectopic pregnancies, a condition in which the fertilised egg implants outside the womb, commonly in the fallopian tube.
In 2007 she lost twins, and two years later she lost another baby.
The 28-year-old, of Stuart Mantle Way, said: “It was traumatizing.
“I felt like a piece of me was missing.”
Charinna had never heard of ectopic pregnancies before, having given birth to her daughter Kyesha, now 10, without any problems. It was only when she started trying for a baby with her husband Mark that she ran into difficulty.
She said: “I went to the doctors when I found out I was pregnant because I was getting pains in my shoulder and side and I knew a normal pregnancy didn’t feel like that.
“I was sent to hospital for a scan but they said there was nothing there.”
However, blood tests showed Charinna still had high pregnancy hormone levels so was told to return regularly for checkups.
After seven weeks, she miscarried the baby, thought to have been growing in one of her fallopian tubes.
But when she went back to hospital for a check-up, nurses found her pregnancy hormone levels were still high.
She said: “It turns out I had twins and the first one had miscarried but there was still another in my fallopian tube.
“I had to wait for emergency surgery to remove the baby, but before that could happen, the tube ruptured. I lost a pint of blood from my abdomen.
“It was heartbreaking.”
Two years later she fell pregnant again, only to find out it was again ectopic. She subsequently miscarried.
Doctors told her she would never conceive naturally, but two months later she was pregnant again with her son, Frankie.
She said: “They told me I would miscarry but after two weeks they found Frankie’s heartbeat and it was fine.
“He’s my little miracle.
“It should never have happened, but I’m so glad it did.”
After she had Frankie, Charinna was sterilized so she would not have another ectopic pregnancy.
She is now hoping to raise awareness of the condition, saying: “At hospital, no-one wanted to say for sure if I had an ectopic pregnancy until it happened.
“On the scan, the baby could just look like a cyst in one of the fallopian tubes.
“No-one was able to give me any advice.”
On September 29, she will take part in the 50k Thames Path Challenge, a walk along the river, in aid of The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. To donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/bexleybirds
ACCORDING to The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, ectopic pregnancies affect one in 80 pregnancies and kill around five women each year in the UK.
It can be difficult to diagnose as it can often be confused for gastroenteritis, miscarriage or appendicitis.
The condition is life-threatening and can cause a rupture of the wall of the structure the foetus has attached itself to.
This can lead to internal bleeding, possibly resulting in the death of the mother.
If there are symptoms, they usually appear between weeks five and 14 of the pregnancy. These include one-sided abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, shoulder tip pain or bowel pain. For more information, go to ectopic.org.uk
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