Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to ectopic pregnancy:

  • The rate of ectopic pregnancy in the United States and worldwide has quadrupled since 1970 and now occurs in almost 2% of all pregnancies. This is partly due to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause scarring to the fallopian tubes and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
  • In most cases, the cause of ectopic pregnancy is unknown. However, pelvic infections, pelvic surgery, certain medications, smoking, and a previous ectopic pregnancy put a woman at higher risk.
  • Any pregnant woman who has abdominal pain or bleeding should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
  • Advances in pregnancy testing, medications, ultrasound, and laparoscopy have made it possible to diagnose and treat early unruptured ectopic pregnancies before severe pelvic damage has occurred.
  • Early intervention also allows a greater opportunity for the gynecological surgeon to preserve the fallopian tube and therefore to enhance the chance for a normal pregnancy in the future.

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