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Ectopic Pregnancy Statistics

Ectopic pregnancy statistics unfortunately show that about 64,000 pregnancies end in an ectopic pregnancy each year. Out of the six million pregnancies that occur every year, this is the portion that end with an ectopic pregnancy that can be extremely dangerous to the mother.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg unfortunately attaches to a place outside of the uterus - usually in a fallopian tube, which is why ectopic pregnancies are also referred to as a tubal pregnancy. Because the fallopian tubes are not capable of holding and supporting a growing embryo, the fertilized egg in the ectopic pregnancy cannot develop normally and must be treated. According to most recent ectopic pregnancy statistics, an ectopic or tubal pregnancy occurs in about one out of 60 pregnancies. There is never a way to save a tubal pregnancy unfortunately and in many cases if the ectopic pregnancy is not discovered early on in the development of the embryo, it can cause a great risk for the mother causing damage to the fallopian tube or even death in some extreme situations.

According to the ectopic pregnancy statistics, there are a few different reasons tubal pregnancies occur and are more likely to occur in certain women that have the particular risk factors to increase their chances of an ectopic pregnancy.

Causes of Ectopic Pregnancy:

Sometimes there are a couple of factors that can make having an ectopic pregnancy more likely including an infection or inflammation of the fallopian tube, which can cause it to be partially or entirely blocked. Scar tissue can work in a similar fashion by impeding the egg's movement. For those with previous surgery in the pelvic area or on the fallopian tubes can also cause adhesions that might contribute to an ectopic pregnancy. An abnormality in the tube's shape is also another factor that contributes to these ectopic pregnancy statistics. Unfortunately there are several of these causes that may be difficult to recognize before a woman gets pregnant in the first place unless she is aware there problems with her fallopian tubes exist. 

Those at Risk for Ectopic Pregnancy:

There are a few factors that can play a role in women that are more likely to have problems with ectopic pregnancies including older mothers around age 35 to 44. Those who have had previous ectopic pregnancies are also more likely to have another. Those with previous pelvic or abdominal surgery are also more likely to have ectopic pregnancy, according to ectopic pregnancy statistics. Those with induced abortions as well as women who get pregnant after they've had tubal ligation or while an IUD is in place are more likely to have a problem with ectopic pregnancy. 

Unfortunately it can be difficult to tell when a positive pregnancy test may actually turn into the result for an ectopic pregnancy. Because an ectopic pregnancy still produces HCG in the body (the pregnancy hormone) it will turn a pregnancy test positive. Other than being on the lookout for signs that your pregnancy is ectopic, the only way to tell is through an ultrasound. Keep in mind a few of these symptoms that can indicate signs of an ectopic pregnancy:

  • Sharp and/or stabbing pain in the pelvis, abdomen or even in the shoulder might indicate an ectopic pregnancy. The pain in the shoulder might occur due to blood from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy gathering up under the diaphragm. 
  • Vaginal bleeding that is heavier or lighter than your typical period.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Weakness, dizziness or fainting

Any of the above symptoms should be addressed with a health care professional as soon as possible. If an ectopic pregnancy ruptures one of the fallopian tubes, the mother can actually bleed to death internally, so it is important to make sure and get medical treatment right away. Typically ectopic pregnancies are treated with Methotrexate, which allows the body to absorb the pregnancy tissue. If this is used to treat the situation early enough, it can actually save the fallopian tube depending on how far along the pregnancy is. Saving the tube is important because having only one tube in the future can make achieving a successful pregnancy more difficult. If left untreated or if the tube ruptures, it usually cannot be saved and must be removed via Laparoscopic surgery.  

According to ectopic pregnancy statistics, the chances of having a successful pregnancy after an ectopic is often lower than normal, but not impossible. The limiting factors in a situation like that depends on the damage to the tube and the woman's medical history and why the ectopic occurred in the first place. Generally if the tubes are okay and left in place after the ectopic pregnancy, there is a 60 percent chance of the woman having a successful pregnancy in the future, according to recent ectopic pregnancy statistics. 


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