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Ectopic Pregnancy Trust comments on smoking link

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust has welcomed the publication of research that explains the link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy, saying it offers women at risk an opportunity to reduce their chances of suffering from the life-threatening condition.

A study by University of Edinburgh scientists has been published in the American Journal of Pathology explaining why women who smoke could be as much as four times more likely to suffer an ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy occurs in around one in every 80 pregnancies and is caused by a fertilised egg implanting outside of the womb. If left untreated ectopic pregnancies can rupture causing internal bleeding - a situation that kills five women each year in the UK.

Izzie Oakley, Services and Support Manager for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust ( said: "Understanding the causes of Ectopic Pregnancy is one of the keys to helping reduce the number of women who are affected by this dangerous and devastating condition.

"While previous research has recognised an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy to women who smoke cigarettes, this study helps us to understand the actual physical effects of cigarette smoking in relation to ectopic pregnancy and will enable women to make informed choices about their lifestyle whilst understanding the possible impacts of smoking on their future fertility and general health.

"This research gives those women at risk the opportunity to prevent ectopic pregnancy from cigarette smoking by better understanding the reasons to quit.

"The possible prevention of ectopic pregnancy is another good reason for women, who will already be aware of the risks of cancer and heart or lung diseases, to attempt to give up smoking."

Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

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"Pregnant woman need support and information at their antenatal clinics, there should be a Smoking Cessation Advisor on site" - Agnes Kerr, Glasgow