In most cases, conditions that slow down or block the movement of the egg down your fallopian tube cause ectopic pregnancy. This could happen because:
You have scar tissue, adhesions or inflammation from a prior pelvic surgery.
Your fallopian tubes have damage, such as from a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
You were born with an irregularly-shaped fallopian tube.
You have a growth blocking your fallopian tube.
How do I know if I’m at risk of an ectopic pregnancy?
There are several risk factors that could increase your chance of developing an ectopic pregnancy. You may be at a higher risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy if you’ve had:
A previous ectopic pregnancy.
A history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection that can cause scar tissue to form in your fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries and cervix.
Surgery on your fallopian tubes (including tubal ligation) or on the other organs of your pelvic area.
A history of infertility.
Treatment for infertility with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
An IUD in place at the time of conception.
A history of smoking tobacco.
If you realize that you’re pregnant and have an IUD (intrauterine device) in place, or have a history of a tubal ligation (having your tubes tied), contact your healthcare provider right away.
Ectopic pregnancy is more common in these situations.
Your risk can also increase with age. People over age 35 have a higher risk than people under 35.
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