The Risk Factors Associated with Ectopic Pregnancies

Date

2020

Authors

Vats, Pulkit
Hannay, Nathan

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Abstract

Background: Ectopic pregnancy occurs in approximately 1.97% of pregnancies in North America. Although the most common site for an ectopic pregnancy is in the uterine tube, they can also occur in other places throughout the body, including the diaphragm and abdominal wall. Some of the most common risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancy are smoking, previous pelvic surgeries or infections, and maternal age. Ectopic pregnancies are the most common cause of first trimester bleeding. Because the implantation of the embryo is not in the correct location, there are various risk factors involved: including the bursting of the uterine tube resulting in hemorrhage, sepsis, and even death. Furthermore, the fertilized egg is not able to receive the proper nutrients when implanted outside the endometrial lining of the uterus. Case Information: During dissection of the reproductive system of our 83-year old female cadaver, we noticed evidence of possible risk factors that could have contributed to her tubal pregnancy. Scar tissue was present in her uterus and ovaries, which may suggest previous surgeries associated with the pregnancy. She also was an avid smoker for 30+ years. A strong correlation exists between smoking and ectopic pregnancies. Goal: We hope to understand further the correlation that exists between some of the pathologies we found in our cadaver, including a history of smoking, cirrhosis, and cancers in the lungs, tongue, and skin. This would be an excellent opportunity to apply our knowledge beyond the barriers of the classroom.

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