When the pregnancy grows in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus, it is known as an ectopic pregnancy.

Although they are rare, they are serious and need to be treated early enough to avoid putting the mother's health at risk. Unfortunately, once the embryo starts growing outside the uterus, the pregnancy cannot be saved.

But what really causes it? While there are no exact causes of ectopic pregnancies, there are risk factors that increase the chances of having one.

1. Previous ectopic pregnancy

If you ever had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, there are chances that you could have another one. However, the chances of having a healthy pregnancy are still higher as compared to those of an ectopic pregnancy.

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2. Endometriosis

This is a condition where the tissues that line the uterus grow outside the uterus affecting the reproductive organs. Women suffering from this condition stand a higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.

3. Smoking

Generally, smoking is unfit for all pregnant women. Smoking cigarettes places the woman at an even higher chance of ectopic pregnancy. The more you smoke, the higher the chances of getting one.

4. Hormonal changes

Age, use of birth control techniques and infertility treatments are all factors that could lead to hormonal imbalance. As the woman grows older, she increases the chances of having unhealthy pregnancy. Women above 35 years of age stand a higher risk of ectopic pregnancies.

5. Infections

Infections that affect the reproductive system such as sexually transmitted diseases also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

If you experience vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain and painful vomiting in the first few weeks of pregnancy, make sure to visit the doctor for diagnosis. They are just some of the first few symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy.