Ectopic Pregnancy: Can Smoking Cause an Ectopic Pregnancy?

I have been advised that I should stop smoking to improve my chances for conception and also to reduce my risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Does smoking really increase my risk of ectopic pregnancy?

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Please avail yourself of all the support and medical help available to quit smoking. Your risk of ectopic pregnancy will be significantly reduced. Additionally, your chances for a successful pregnancy and the delivery of a health child will be markedly improved. Please see our other columns regarding smoking for further information.

A recent study of non Hispanic black women with surgically confirmed ectopic pregnancy , revealed that women with ectopic pregnancies were more likely to be over 25 years of age, to be married or cohabitating, to have a history of IUD use, infertility, vaginal douching, pelvic inflammatory disease and to have had more than four sexual partners. Additionally, this study found that 40.8 percent of the women had been smoking in the time around conception compared to 22.8 percent of women who served as controls.

The risk of an ectopic pregnancy ranged from just under double to three and one-half times the risk of nonsmokers depending on the amount of tobacco smoked. Thus, this study in a black population, confirms that smoking, even one to five cigarettes per day increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

While this study has methodological errors, a number of other studies and analyses confirm a probable relationship between smoking and ectopic pregnancy.

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