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).
- A previous tubal surgery for infertility.
- Pregnancy with an IUD in place.