Things You Can Do That May Lessen Your Chance of Having an Ectopic Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, you want to do everything you possibly can to ensure that your baby is healthy. That means abstaining from smoking and alcohol use, opting for nutrition-rich foods, and throwing out the junk food. But is there anything you can possibly do to reduce your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy?
Definition of Terms
First, it's important to recognize what an ectopic pregnancy is. Such a pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside a woman's uterus. In other words, if your fallopian tube is damaged or blocked and cannot move the egg toward your womb, the egg may become lodged in the tube. As a result, another name for such a pregnancy is a "tubal pregnancy." This type of pregnancy is typically diagnosed in the early stages of pregnancy.
Believe it or not, ectopic pregnancies are not that uncommon. In fact, an estimated one in 50 pregnancies ends this way. Unfortunately, there is no way for a tubal pregnancy to become a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, it is important that you do all that you can in order to lessen your risk.
Of course, there are certain risk factors that you cannot control. For instance, you are at greater risk if you have had a previous ectopic pregnancy. You may also be at heightened risk if your mother took the drug DES while pregnant with you.
But there are other steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include refraining from getting a surgical sterilization, not using an IUD, and abstaining from progestin-only hormonal contraceptives. Sexually transmitted infections can often lead to cases of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can damage your tubes and thus increase your risk. As a result, you should avoid risky sexual behavior that could lead to a sexually-transmitted disease. Infertility treatments can also heighten your risk. In addition, smoking cigarettes or douching regularly has been linked to a greater incidence of ectopic pregnancies.
Consult Your Ob/Gyn
If you believe that you have any of the risk factors, it is a good idea if you consult your Ob/Gyn. He or she will be in a better position to gauge whether or not you are at serious risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy.
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