Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Ectopic Pregnancy - What Increases Your Risk

Things that can increase your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy include:

Medical treatments and procedures that can increase your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy include:

  • Previous fallopian tube surgery to treat infertility or to reverse a tubal ligation.
  • A tubal ligation failure. In rare cases when pregnancy happens after a sterilization surgery, there is a higher-than-usual risk that the pregnancy is ectopic.
  • A progestin-only birth control failure, such as progestin-only pills, or a pregnancy that happens with an intrauterine device (IUD) in place.
  • Treatment with assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). This may result from the flushing of the fertilized egg into a damaged fallopian tube after it is transferred to the uterus.
  • Infection after any kind of surgery done on the uterus or fallopian tubes. This can lead to scar tissue.

Ectopic pregnancy has been linked to the use of medicine used to make the ovary release multiple eggs (superovulation). Experts do not yet know whether this is because many women using it already have fallopian tube damage or because of the medicine itself.

If you become pregnant and are at high risk for ectopic pregnancy, you will be closely watched. Doctors do not always agree about which risk factors are serious enough to watch closely. But research suggests that risk is serious enough if you have had a tubal surgery or an ectopic pregnancy before, had DES exposure before birth, have known fallopian tube problems, or have a pregnancy with an intrauterine device (IUD) in place.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 26, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
    Video
     
    healthtool pregnancy calendar
    Tool
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
    Video