Before 27 February, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.
A pregnancy that occurs outside the womb can be life-threatening to the mother. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy.
According to the website MedlinePlus, in most pregnancies, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the movement of this egg is blocked or slowed on its way through the fallopian tubes, this can cause an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition where the pregnancy cannot be completed to term and the developing zygote must be extracted in order to save the mother’s life.
The factors that can the lead to this problem include:
- A birth defect in the fallopian tubes
- Scarring after a ruptured appendix
- Having had a previous ectopic pregnancy
- Scarring from past infections or surgery of the female organ
The following can also increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy:
- Being over age 35
- Getting pregnant while having an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Having your tubes tied, which is more likely 2 or more years after the procedure
- Having had surgery to untie tubes to become pregnant
- Having had many sexual partners
- Having undergone some infertility treatments
The most common site for an ectopic pregnancy is inside one of the fallopian tubes. On rare occasions, ectopic pregnancies can occur in an ovary, the abdomen or in the cervix.