Ectopic Pregnancy

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What are the risk factors for ectopic pregnancy?

There are multiple factors that increase a women's likelihood of having an ectopic pregnancy, but it is important to note that ectopic pregnancies can occur in women without any of these risk factors. Ectopic pregnancy can occur in any woman, of any age, who is ovulating and is sexually active with a male partner. The highest likelihood ectopic pregnancy occurs in women aged 35-44 years.

The greatest risk factor for an ectopic pregnancy is a prior history of an ectopic pregnancy.

Any disruption of the normal architecture of the Fallopian tubes can be a risk factor for a tubal pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy in other locations. Previous surgery on the Fallopian tubes such as tubal sterilization or reconstructive, procedures can lead to scarring and disruption of the normal anatomy of the tubes and increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Likewise, infection, congenital abnormalities, or tumors of the Fallopian tubes can increase a woman's risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 9/28/2015
REFERENCE: Sepilian, V. MD. "Ectopic Pregnancy." Medscape. Sep 02, 2015


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