On Monday night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop: New York on VH1, Remy Ma and her husband, Papoose, learned that the Grammy-nominated rapper was pregnant with her first child. However, at the end of the show, their world was turned upside down when the couple was told that the 36-year-old singer had an ectopic pregnancy and the fetus needed to be removed.
“We’re gonna get through it, we’ve just got to take it one day at a time,” Papoose told his wife. “Regardless of what we have to do, we’re gonna get through it together.”
Aviva Romm, MD, a midwife who specializes in women’s health and author of The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, explains to Yahoo Beauty that an ectopic pregnancy is “any pregnancy in which implantation occurs outside the uterus, most commonly in one of the fallopian tubes.”
While this type of pregnancy (also known as a tubal pregnancy) is not common — it will occur in about 2 in every 100 pregnancies — it is the leading cause of pregnancy-related maternal death during the first trimester, according to Planned Parenthood.
Sadly, Remy Ma was informed that she will not be able to get pregnant naturally now. But Romm explains that that’s not always the case.
“In fact, most women who have had an ectopic pregnancy can have more children,” she says. “They may have scarring in one tube, or loss of that tube, which can make conception more challenging, but many women who’ve had an ectopic pregnancy go on to a perfectly normal pregnancy and birth.”
Sara Gottfried, MD, a gynecologist and author of the upcoming book Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years, adds that future pregnancies are usually no longer possible when a hysterectomy has been performed.
“I don’t know her specific situation or anatomy and don’t want to speculate on what happened,” she says. “[Generally speaking], we occasionally have to remove a fallopian tube to stop the bleeding, and the woman may still conceive on the other side, if undamaged, or undergo IVF for future pregnancy. However, if you’ve had one ectopic, your risk is higher of having another ectopic if you still have one or two fallopian tubes.”
In other types of complications that result in miscarriages or loss of the fetus’s life during the first trimester, a D&C surgical procedure may be performed. “Dilatation and curettage is a procedure done to empty the uterus,” explains Romm. “The cervix is opened and the inside of the uterus ‘scraped’ to remove any remaining products of the conception to complete the miscarriage and make sure there’s nothing remaining behind that could cause infection.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about half of women who miscarry do not undergo this procedure. “It’s often offered in order to expedite things emotionally and mentally for the woman once it’s been determined that she’s miscarrying,” continues Romm. “It is also medically recommended when there is a lot of bleeding, to protect the woman from too much blood loss.”
Once the VH1 episode aired on Monday night, Remy Ma took to Instagram to thank her and Papoose’s fans for sharing in their happiness and their sorrow. The Bronx native songwriter admitted that she didn’t intend to share this devastating experience with the public, but that her husband convinced her to do so.
“[He] made me realize how many women like myself experience the same thing and don’t have a strong partner by their side to say it will be alright,” she posted. “So I’m here to tell anyone going thru a similar situation that it is not over and God has the last say so.”