Tags: smoking | ectopic | pregnancy

Smoking Hikes Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy

Thursday, 02 Aug 2012 12:05 PM


Expectant women who smoke cigarettes are significantly more likely to have ectopic pregnancies – when the embryo implants outside the uterus and in the Fallopian tube – because agents in tobacco produce genetic changes that can lead to the complication, British researchers have found.
The study, reported by scientists from the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health in Edinburgh, found smoke reduces the production of a Fallopian tube gene known as “BAD,” tied to the development of ectopic pregnancies.
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"The research is exciting because it provides new scientific evidence to help understand why women who smoke are more likely to have ectopic pregnancies,” said Dr. Andrew Horne, who reported the findings at a recent meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "So our research may in [the] future help scientists find ways to prevent ectopic pregnancy, diagnosis it better, and treat it earlier."
Ectopic pregnancy occurs in up to 2 percent of all pregnancies and is the most common cause of maternal death in early pregnancy. There is no way to prevent an ectopic pregnancy, and it often requires surgery, or treatment with the drug methotrexate.
Horne noted ectopic pregnancy occurs when a developing embryo moves from the Fallopian tube to the uterus and changes in the tubal environment allow early implantation to occur.
Horne's study found a nicotine product called cotinine caused genetic changes to Fallopian tube cells. Those changes create an environment in the Fallopian tube that is similar to that of the uterus, which encourages and allows ectopic pregnancy to occur.
"The information gained from this study can also be applied to other conditions caused by smoking,” Horne said, “and could help us prevent or treat them better in the long term."
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Expectant women who smoke are significantly more likely to have ectopic pregnancies.
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2012-05-02
Thursday, 02 Aug 2012 12:05 PM
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