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Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

Pregnancy By Vatsal Anand , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Aug 08, 2011
Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

Smoking, surgical procedure, STDs, certain medications and pelvic infections are the major causes of fallopian tube damage leading to ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is starkly different from a normal pregnancy. The fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus in a normal pregnancy, but here it does so in some other part, most often the fallopian tube.


causes of ectopic pregnancyEctopic pregnancy is development of ovum outside the uterus and occurs mostly in the fallopian tube. When a fertilised egg is not able to pass through the tube, it implants there itself and starts to grow. The factors responsible for damage of the fallopian tube leading to ectopic pregnancy are:


It enhances the risk of ectopic pregnancy by five times. This is because the nicotine present in cigarettes cause contractions in the fallopian tube. It leads to temporary blockage of the tube and prevents the ovum from passing through.

Pelvic Infection

Fallopian tube problems are caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These STDs increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy by five times. They are especially dangerous because the symptoms are noticeable only when the infection has reached the abdominal cavity and reproductive organs have been affected. The pelvic infections damage the delicate hair-like cell lining of the fallopian tubes. The scarring of the tube can result in it getting blocked.


It is a disorder in which the uterine tissue starts to grow outside the womb and gets attached to internal organs. As a result, the fallopian tubes are scarred and the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases. Endometriosis raises the risk of ectopic pregnancy by five times.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD)

Use of an IUD places the woman at an increased risk of pelvic infection. That leads to fallopian tube scarring and ectopic pregnancy.

Surgical Procedures

An abdominal surgery, particularly one involving the reproductive organs increases the chance of an ectopic pregnancy. Two surgical procedures that can lead to an ectopic pregnancy are failed tubal sterilisation and tubal ligation (surgical severing of the fallopian tube). If you have had a surgery to your fallopian tubes and find yourself pregnant, see your doctor immediately.

Hormonal Medications

Ectopic pregnancies have also been associated with those medications that alter your hormonal constitution. Fertility medications such as pergonal and clomephene, and the contraceptive medications that are composed of hormones similar to progesterone. These drugs hamper the natural ability of fallopian tubes to contract and squeeze properly. These usual motions are important to allow the fertilised egg to reach the uterus. So, if you are on any of these medications and get pregnant, be aware of the risk. Get yourself diagnosed immediately as there is a great chance of it being ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is hard to come to terms with, after all you are losing a pregnancy. Therefore, you can taks some time off and think over the entire thing, and the next time do the right things.

Read more articles on Problems During Pregnancy


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