Are You At Risk For An Ectopic Pregnancy?

Pregnancy begins when an egg and sperm meet and form a single cell. In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches to a woman's uterus and starts to grow. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube or somewhere outside the uterus.  In up to 1 in 50 pregnancies, the fertilized egg takes root in the fallopian tube, according to WebMD. Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing an ectopic pregnancy. Here's a list of risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancies.

1. Fallopian Tube Surgery

If you've had surgery on your fallopian tubes, your risk of an ectopic pregnancy is increased.  The type of fallopian tube surgery may involve the correction of various fallopian tube problems or a reverse tubal ligation (surgical sterilization). According to the Cleveland Clinic, the risk of ectopic pregnancy after tubal reverse increases from 1 in 100 pregnancies to 5 in 100 pregnancies.

2. Inflammation/Infection

An inflammation of the fallopian tube is known as salpingitis. According to the Better Health Channel, salpingitis is generally triggered by a bacterial infection, such as a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea. An infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, or ovaries can also increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy.

3. Previous Ectopic Pregnancy

If you have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, your risk of having another dramatically increases. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the chances of having a successful pregnancy after an ectopic pregnancy are 60 percent if the fallopian tubes have been left in place.

4. Structural Problems

Ectopic pregnancies are more common in women who have unusually shaped fallopian tubes or women who have had their fallopian tubes damaged during an accident or surgery. Even if surgery has been performed to reconstruct the fallopian tubes, the risk of an ectopic pregnancy is still present.

5. Diagnosis of Endometriosis

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, your risk of an ectopic pregnancy is increased. This is because endometriosis causes scarring that can affect the fallopian tubes. It is not yet known why women develop this condition, but it is found to be more common in women with fertility problems, according to the Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center.

If you are trying to conceive, it's important to know your risks associated with ectopic pregnancy.  There are a number of risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancy that can increase your chances of the fertilized egg implanting somewhere other than the uterus. For more information about ectopic pregnancies, contact your obstetrician or gynecologist, one like Bee Ridge Obstetrics Gynecology.