Tubal or ectopic pregnancy

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the causes and likelihood of tubal or ectopic pregnancies are, as well as how they are treated and what the effects are if left untreated
Tubal & Ectopic Pregnancy Causes and Treatments
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Tubal or ectopic pregnancy

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A tubal pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy in which the embryo, instead of implanting inside the uterine cavity, implants outside the uterus. With very rare exceptions, an ectopic pregnancy is not a viable pregnancy. What's supposed to happen is, the egg is ovulated from the ovary, it's picked up in the fallopian tube, fertilized there, becomes an embryo. The embryo travels down the fallopian tube, into the uterus and implants in the uterine cavity. With an ectopic pregnancy, there is typically some type of tubal damage that prevents the embryo from entering the uterine cavity. So the embryo in the fallopian tube itself -- this is the most common place for an ectopic pregnancy -- or will exit the fallopian tube and implant in the ovary or the abdominal wall. Ectopic pregnancies are very rare. They occur in one to two percent of pregnancies. Often, they are caught early. When they are caught early, it can be easily medically managed. If an ectopic pregnancy is left untreated or undiagnosed, it can lead to severe complications and even maternal death. Sometimes, when an ectopic pregnancy is not caught early, it does have to be treated surgically. If it's treated surgically, often times, the damage does need to be removed. For this reason, you need to make sure you contact your physician if you have bleeding early in the pregnancy to make sure that you don't have an ectopic pregnancy.

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the causes and likelihood of tubal or ectopic pregnancies are, as well as how they are treated and what the effects are if left untreated

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Kristin Bendikson, MD

Fertility Specialist

Dr. Kristin A. Bendikson joined USC Fertility after finishing her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Harvard Medical School and completing her subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the internationally renowned Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Cornell University Medical College. During that time, she received intensive training in ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization and fertility surgery, as well as the management of other disorders including recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Kristin received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and attended the prestigious New York University School of Medicine. Her extensive training and years in practice have prepared her to deal with the most difficult and challenging cases.

Kristin holds the title of Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the USC Keck School of Medicine. She is the currently the principal investigator of several research projects including the study of zygote intrafallopian tube transfer for women of advanced reproductive age, aging of the uterine endometrium and vitamin D and its role in infertility. It is her goal to provide the highest quality care for her patients and to help them fulfill their desire of having a healthy baby. In addition, she strives to guide her patients through what can be a trying and difficult journey by providing them with the support and personal attention they need.

Fertility expert, teacher, and researcher, Kristin is also a married mother of two. She resides in West Los Angeles with her family.

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