Ectopic Pregnancy: Causes and and Treatments

Causes and and Treatments

Ectopic pregnancy occurs when implantation of the egg takes place outside of the womb (or uterus). Typically, most ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube - but they can also occur in the ovary, the abdomen, the cervix, or at the joint between the fallopian tube and the uterus.

In most cases, ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilized egg faces obstructions in the fallopian tube that prevent the egg from moving freely into the womb. Instead of implantation in the uterus, obstructions or tubal abnormalities cause the egg to implant outside of the womb. There is no way to prevent or predict an ectopic pregnancy, though there are a number of risk factor that may predispose a woman for ectopic pregnancy - from advanced age to previous pelvic inflammatory diseases or prior surgery in the region.

Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are diverse and include cramps and spotting early in the pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal paint on one side, nausea, and dizziness. In some cases, symptoms may not be present and the first signs of an ectopic pregnancy may appear suddenly, requiring emergency treatment. In serious cases, the fallopian tube can ruptures and cause hemorrhaging, requiring swift medical treatment.

In most cases, however, ectopic pregnancies present themselves with a missed period and a positive result on a pregnancy test - accompanied by the symptoms listed above (vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, dizziness or even shoulder pain).

Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy

There is no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, though are there are several risk factors to consider that may predispose a woman to an ectopic pregnancy. Any kind of pelvic inflammatory disease, abdominal surgery, or regional infection can increase the risk. Risk factors include:

  • Advanced Age: Women over age 30 years face increased risk
  • Smoking
  • Previous pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis
  • Abdominal surgery or prior fallopian tube surgery
  • History of previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Previous termination of a pregnancy: the risk of ectopic increases with two or more terminations

Once an ectopic is diagnosed, there are a number of treatment options (though relocation of the fetus from tube to womb is not an option). Some options include managing the ectopic pregnancy without surgery (if the woman's hCG levels are decreasing and she does not exhibit serious symptoms) or by using the drug methotrexate which causes a medically induced regression of the pregnancy.

The options include surgically removing the ectopic pregnancy. Here, surgery can be performed on the fallopian tube before the tube ruptures. This can save the tube if the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early enough. If there is a healthy second fallopian tube, surgery may be performed to remove the fallopian tube containing the ectopic pregnancy. Laparoscopic surgery to remove the pregnancy without removing the tube is call salpingotomy - and surgery to remove the tube altogether is referred to as a salpingectomy.

Getting Pregnant after an Ectopic Pregnancy

The possibility of successfully conceiving after an ectopic pregnancy is dependent upon the severity of case and the type of treatment. Methotrexate and laparoscopic surgery have similar rates of normal pregnancy following ectopic pregnancy - and there are other surgical procedures that can restore reproductive function. Also, in vitro fertilization is also an option for women with missing or scarred fallopian tubes.


Am said to hav ectopic pregnancy. I had it last yr n my left tube was removed must d right stil go is de no other way it is six wks n nt active?

Hai, i got an ectopic pregnancy 3 years ago,and the dr did surgery and remove my right tube, is it possible for me to get pregnant again because I am scared that I might get another ectopic,,pls advise.

what are the step in this proceedure.

I have abdominal pains and i was diagnose of ovarian cist what shd i do,what kind of treamemt shd i use?doctor said i shd undergo surgery. is there possibility of pregnancy after surgery?

im 31.
i was 7 weeks pregnant. i lost my baby 2 days ago.
it was a ectopic pregnancy, but i didn't need a surgery.
i had very strong contractions, pain for a few hours, and it came out while i was in the bathroom. i saw it. it wasn't nice image. i flushed it so fast. luckily, i have 1 year old at home, and i got her via c-section.
now, im home. no pain at all, just bleeding, and lost of blood cloths.

hi, i had an ectopic pregnancy 4 years ago and they had to take my tube and since then i have had a recurrent ectopic pregnancy in which i was injected to induce abortion in the hospital to avoid taken off completely my remaining tube. hospital have now told me its pure unluckiness and a full pregnancy will happen for us one day. only i cant believe this, i have got pcos and miscarried 4 times altogether, my age is also creeping up i'm now 31. please help me by giving me some good advise

hi, i had an ectopic pregnancy 3 and a half years ago and they had to take my tube, 6 months later i got pregnant again but miscarried again. hospital have now told me its pure unluckiness and a full pregnancy will happen for us one day. only i cant believe this, ive got pcos and miscarried 4 times altogether, my age is also creeping up i'm now 31. please help me by giving me some good advise.

I had an Ectopic pregnancy about 7 years ago that resulted in surgical operation. Since then I couldn't conceive. Is there any chance for me. I clocked 40 years by February, 2011.

please i want to get pregnant but everytime i think i get pregnant my period comes out.. please help me and educate me, on the thing i should know and di rightly.

can vaginal douching cause ectopic pregnancy

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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.