The Hills star shared her experience in a post to her Instagram story this week following a landmark ruling which ends the constitutional right to abortion and paves the way for individual US states to ban the procedure.
“The last few days have been hard,” Conrad wrote. “I wanted to share my own experience with lifesaving reproductive care.
“Six years ago, while trying to start our family, I had an ectopic pregnancy. Due to prompt medical care doctors saved my fallopian tubes, allowing me to have two healthy pregnancies.
“Many women in my life have had their own experiences with abortion. 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.
“Talking about abortion is hard. It can be scary and sad and confusing, and it divides us. But we must continue talking - and listening - to each other in a respectful way, especially when we disagree.”
Conrad has been married to musician William Tell since 2014. The couple have two children; sons Liam, four, and Charlie, two.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants and grows outside of the womb, most commonly in a fallopian tube.
If this happens, the egg won’t develop into a baby. It may also cause ruptures and internal bleeding and put the mother’s life at risk.
It is not possible to save an ectopic pregnancy and it must be terminated by either using medicine or with an operation.
In the UK, around one in every 90 pregnancies is ectopic, equating to around 11,000 pregnancies a year, according to the NHS.
Rights groups have expressed concern over how the US Supreme Court’s ruling, handed down on 24 June, will impact those who suffer with ectopic pregnancies.
The court’s decision did not mention ectopic pregnancies and all states where abortion is now illegal have included an exception which protects the mother’s life during a medical emergency.
However, campaigners have highlighted that the threshold for the exceptions to save the mother’s life are unclear, and that this will present legal challenges for doctors who decide to terminate a pregnancy.
One woman from Texas – where an abortion trigger ban is set to take effect by the end of July – told The New Yorker magazine that she had to drive fifteen hours to New Mexico to have her ectopic pregnancy removed.
UK based charity The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust said ectopic pregnancies have been incorrectly conflated with access to abortion services.
“Healthcare professionals must be able to treat women diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy with unrestricted access to all clinical resources and without fear of threats, abuse, or litigation,” the charity said in a statement on 24 June.
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