Reference Fallopian tube Opens New Window damage is a common cause of ectopic pregnancy. A fertilized egg can become caught in the damaged area of a tube and begin to grow there. Some ectopic pregnancies develop 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. The more you smoke, the higher your risk.Reference 1 Smoking is thought to damage the fallopian tubes' ability to move the fertilized egg toward the uterus.
- Reference Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) Opens New Window, such as from a Reference chlamydia Opens New Window or Reference gonorrhea Opens New Window infection. PID can create scar tissue in the fallopian tubes.
- Fallopian tube surgery, often used to reverse a tubal ligation or to repair a scarred or blocked tube.
- 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 have an increased chance of being ectopic.Reference 2
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology