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Miscarriage & Loss

Q&A: Causes Of Ectopic Pregnancy?

Why might I have an ectopic pregnancy?

If you’re worried, keep in mind that a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is extremely rare. And as with any miscarriage, it’s not your fault. Sometimes there's no reason or explanation for it; it simply just happens. Otherwise, those who were diagnosed with ectopic pregnancies usually had previous medical issues and 50 percent had a previous tubal disease. Damage to your fallopian tubes can be a result of STDs (i.e. Chlamydia and gonorrhea), endometriosis (when similar lining of your uterus is found somewhere else in the body), appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix), pelvic surgery, or exposure to diethylstilbestrol (a drug that used to prevent miscarriage but went off the market in 1997 due to health complications). Women who conceive after getting their tubes tied or untied are also at risk. Finally, using infertility drugs or IVF (in vitro fertilization) also slightly increases your chances.
Even if you've had any of these previous diseases or procedures, remember that doesn’t mean you'll necessarily have an ecptoic pregnancy. But if you’ve already had an ectopic pregnancy, you're more likely to have another and should be monitored while TTC. Keep in mind that many women diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy have healthy babies later on — just make sure you're emotionally and physically prepared for your next try.


Source: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

By The Bump Editors