HomeConditionPregnancyWhat Is An Ectopic Pregnancy? Cause, Risk Factors & Symptoms

What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy? Cause, Risk Factors & Symptoms

Topic Overview

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition when ovum conception occurs outside the uterus (usually in one of the fallopian tubes). Pregnancy begins with an egg cell that has been fertilized by a sperm cell.

In the normal process, the fertilized egg will stay in the fallopian tube for about three days, before it is released into the uterus. Inside the womb, this egg will continue to grow until labor time arrives.

However, there is the possibility of a fertilized egg being attached to an organ other than the uterus and this is called an ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tube is the organ that is most often attached to the egg. Other organs that may be the site of the development and include the abdominal cavity, ovary, and cervix.

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy

One of the most common causes is a failure of fallopian tubes, for example, because of inflammatory or inflammatory processes. This damage will block the fertilized egg to enter the uterus so that it eventually sticks in the fallopian tube itself or other organs.
In addition, unbalanced hormone levels or abnormal development of a fertilized egg can sometimes act as a trigger.

Results of Risk factors

There are a number of factors suspected to trigger

Out of a total of 11,286 deliveries at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Branch of RCMC, Yanbu Industrial City, KSA, 66 obtainable with ectopic pregnancy throughout the quantified study historical of four years. The occurrence of ectopic originates to be 1 in 171 deliveries that are 0.58%. The risk of ectopic upturns increasingly with increasing age. That’s mean the age of women was 30 ± 4 years and only 7% (n=5) were more than 40 years old. 24% (Twenty four percent) (n=16) were prim gravida. Multiparous women’s initiate to be more disposed to ectopic pregnancy were 64% (n=42).

The gestational age alternated between 4-12 weeks and the most recurrent gestational age was about 6-8 weeks, 2 patients were more than 12 weeks of gestation. Eighty-seven percent (n=58) had some risk factors, 37% (n=25) had previous natural and medical induced abortions (Table).

Table: Risk factors

Risk Factors No. %
Previous Abortion 25 37.8%
IUCD 3 4.5%
Recurrent Ectopic 6 9%
Previous Pelvic Surgery 12 18%
Infertility Treatment 10 15%
Fibroid Uterus 2 3%

Ectopic pregnancy risk factors Include:

  1. Choice of contraceptives:
    The use of a spiral or intrauterine device contraceptive device (IUD) aims to prevent pregnancy. However, if pregnancy persists, it is likely that this pregnancy is ectopic.
  2. Have had an ectopic pregnancy before:
    Women who have experienced this condition have a higher risk to return to experience it.
  3. Have an infection or inflammation:
    Women who have had inflammatory fallopian tubes or pelvic inflammatory disease from sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, have a higher risk for ectopic pregnancy.
  4. Fertility problems and treatment can sometimes trigger this pregnancy condition.
  5. Sterilization process and vice versa:
    Inadequate tubal binding or tubal binding procedures are also at risk of triggering this condition.

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

Initially, ectopic pregnancy tended to be asymptomatic or had a sign similar to that of an ordinary pregnancy before other symptoms indicated.

Among others are:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen usually occurs on 1 side.
  • Pain in the pelvis.
  • Mild bleeding from the vagina.
  • Dizzy or limp.
  • Nausea and vomiting accompanied by pain.
  • Pain in the shoulder.
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum during bowel movements.
  • If the fallopian tube is torn, great bleeding may occur that may trigger a loss of consciousness.

What can you expect after an ectopic pregnancy?

Women suspected of having an ectopic pregnancy should be immediately taken to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible. Pregnancy pregnancies detected early without a normally developing fetus in the womb are generally treated with methotrexate injections.

Risk Factors for Ectopic Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Analysis Based on a Large Case-Control, Population-based Study in France (Source: 01 )

This drug will stop the growth as well as destroy the cells that have been formed. This procedure is usually performed through a keyhole or laparoscopic operation. The umbilical fallopian tube will be repaired if possible.

It is important for every pregnant woman to get information about “What is an ectopic pregnancy?” and get a thorough health and pregnancy checkup.


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Written by Dr. Ozair (CEO of SignSymptom.com) as physician writers are physicians who write creatively in fields outside their practice of medicine.

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