Alternate Names : Pregnancy in the Fallopian Tube, Tubal Pregnancy, Extrauterine Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the
uterus. The most common site is within a fallopian tube. More rarely an embryo
may implant within an ovary, in the cervix, or on the abdominal wall.
What is going on in the body?
One out of every 200 pregnancies is ectopic. Although the fertilized egg is not
cradled within the uterus, the embryo continues to grow and expand. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in a fallopian tube. Without treatment, the tube
can rupture. That can cause many serious problems and sometimes death.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Usually, an ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg is slowed or blocked
in some way as it travels down the tube to the uterus. The stage may be set for
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is
widespread inflammation within the pelvis that is usually caused by a
endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that normally lines
the uterus grows in other parts of the body
surgery on a tube, such as tubal ligation done to prevent pregnancy
adhesions from prior surgery, such as an appendectomy. Adhesions are fibrous bands in or
a history of infertility
an earlier ectopic pregnancy
an intrauterine device (IUD), which is inserted into the
uterus to prevent pregnancy
a pelvic mass that interferes with the normal function of the fallopian
tubes. Examples are a fibroid, or noncancerous tumor of the uterus, and an ovarian cyst, which is a
fluid-filled sac on the ovary.
use of fertility medications that stimulate the ovary
in vitro fertilization,
in which the egg is artificially fertilized outside of the body
a pregnancy that occurs while taking the progestin-only Mini-Pill for