Ectopic Pregnancy Causes

Because there are several causes of ectopic pregnancy, sometimes the exact reason is known; sometimes it isn't. In cases where the causes are known, possibilities include a problem with the fertilized egg itself and transport problems within the fallopian tube. Risk factors for the condition include having had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, a history of IUD use, or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Ectopic Pregnancy Causes: An Overview

There are many possible causes of ectopic pregnancy; however, in women who develop such a pregnancy, the cause is not always known. When known, possible causes can include:
 
  • Transport problems within the fallopian tube. This most often occurs because of damage to the surface from infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
 
  • Problems with some mechanism within the fertilized egg itself.
 
  • A released egg traveling to the other fallopian tube, resulting in a delay of transport within the fallopian tube.
 

Know the Risk Factors

While not actual ectopic pregnancy "causes," several factors can increase a woman's chances for developing an ectopic pregnancy. These are known as ectopic pregnancy risk factors. These risk factors include:
 
  • A history of pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. The risk of ectopic pregnancy in a woman with a history of PID is 1 in 24.
 
  • Women whose mothers took diethylstilbestrol (DES) while pregnant.
 
  • History of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
 
  • A previous ectopic pregnancy (the risk is increased by up to 50 percent).
 
 
 
  • History of IUD use.
 
  • Pregnancy with an IUD in place.
 
  • Prolonged infertility.
 
  • Multiple sex partners.
 
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Ectopic Pregnancies

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