Gemma Styles: Geordie Shore's Charlotte Told Us All About Her Ectopic Pregnancy – So What Can We Learn?
"It could help a lot of people."
Charlotte Crosby (off’of that Geordie Shore) has spoken out recently about her scary experience of an ectopic pregnancy, and I think it should inspire a wider conversation about women’s health. I reckon it’s brave of Charlotte to talk about something so personal – and it could help a lot of people.
Firstly it’s useful to understand what an ectopic pregnancy actually is. Usually when a pregnancy begins, an egg is released from the ovary and moseys on down the fallopian tube towards the uterus – on it’s way, it meets the 1 in 14 million sperm who has managed to make it to the fallopian tube, et voila, a fertilised egg. In the few days following fertilisation, the embryo is developing and is supposed to carry on down the fallopian tube to stick itself cosily into the wall of the uterus – but in an ectopic pregnancy this doesn’t happen properly and the embryo ends up implanting itself somewhere else, usually getting stuck in the fallopian tube itself.
Doctors say that one of the things that may have helped to cause this to happen to Charlotte was taking the morning after pill. That’s not to say that the morning after pill is inherently unsafe, but it is useful to know that taking it late in the possible window could increase your risk for an ectopic pregnancy, should the pill not successfully prevent the pregnancy happening. Charlotte had a lapse in her birth control pill and ended up taking the morning after pill towards the end of the 72-hour window, increasing her risk; it’s important to learn from her experience and recognise the signs of this happening.
Apparently Charlotte didn’t see her doctor for almost a week of being in pain, because she thought she was just having really bad period cramps – the internal damage had got so bad that she could have died, and had to have the affected tube removed in an emergency operation. Severe pain like this can be a sign, and especially after taking the morning after pill, so her talking about the experience will hopefully raise awareness of this possibility and prevent other women from ending up in this kind of danger.
Women’s reproductive health is one of those things that people still find embarrassing to talk about sometimes, what with all those blue periods they show in the hush-hush adverts (why will nobody say ‘blood’?), but being clear about the mechanics of it all and understanding risks and symptoms is important. It plays a big part in helping to make sure women, and everyone else for that matter, are informed about serious health concerns and aren’t in the dark, scared about going to the GP. It’s time to quit our British-ness in talking about intimate health and see the doctor if something is wrong, or even if you’re not quite sure. It could save your life.