Ectopic Pregnancy: What Could Cause an Ectopic Pregnancy?

I am 33 years old and lost a tube when I had laproscopic surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy, which was discovered at seven weeks. I have had no abdominal surgery, endometriosis or other problems or diseases. What could have caused this and does it put me at increased risk if I become pregnant again?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Ectopic pregnancies are generally caused by some narrowing of the fallopian tube, most often the result of an infection such as chlamydia.

The reason an ectopic pregnancy is so hazardous is that hemorrhage can occur at the site of rupture. The extent of the bleeding and the pain and when the rupture might occur are determined by where the embryo implants. The tube can sustain a pregnancy for up to eight weeks or so before pain causes the woman to seek help. If the tube ruptures before surgery, the mother can die of shock and blood loss.

You are at a slightly increased risk of this happening again, but try not to worry. It is important for you to get early prenatal care with the next pregnancy so this can be ruled out.

As far as future fertility, since you have one functioning tube and ovary, you will most likely continue to ovulate every month. The remaining ovary will take over the function of the other ovary. You could observe cervical mucus changes to see if this is the case. Occasionally, women with one tube only ovulate every other month.

I wish you the best and hope the next pregnancy is "uneventful."

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