Ectopic Pregnancy - Cause
Fallopian tube damage is a common cause
ectopic pregnancy. A fertilized egg can become caught
in the damaged area of a tube and begin to grow there. Some ectopic pregnancies
occur without any known cause.
Common causes of
fallopian tube damage that may lead to an ectopic pregnancy include:
- Smoking. Women who smoke or who used to smoke
have higher rates of ectopic pregnancy. Smoking is thought to damage the fallopian
tubes' ability to move the fertilized egg toward the uterus.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), such as from a
gonorrhea infection. PID can create scar tissue in the
- Fallopian tube surgery, often used to reverse a
tubal ligation or to repair a scarred or blocked
- A previous ectopic pregnancy in a fallopian tube.
Although pregnancy is rare after a
tubal ligation or with an
intrauterine device (IUD), those pregnancies that do
develop may have an increased chance of being ectopic.