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Health & Pregnancy

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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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    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.
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