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Study EXplains Why Smoking is Associated with Ectopic Pregnancy


Study EXplains Why Smoking is Associated with Ectopic Pregnancy

(epharmanews) – A recent study identified the link between cigarette smoking and ectopic pregnancy; it reduces the production of a gene produced from the Fallopian tube, which helps implant the embryo in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus.

Researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Reproductive Health in Edinburgh, UK, exposed Fallopian tube cells to a breakdown product of nicotine known as cotinine.

Ectopic pregnancy is one form of pregnancy complications in which an embryo is planted outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy accounts for 2 percent of all pregnancies, and nearly 98 percent of ectopic pregnancies are in the Fallopian tube.

The results of this study, presented at the annual meeting of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) in Istanbul, showed that cotinine affects the production of a Fallopian tube gene known as BAD and is responsible for the death of certain Fallopian tube cells.

Expression of BAD in the uterus is significantly reduced just before implantation. Similar reductions in the Fallopian tube make it a similar environment, which encourages and allows implantation in the Fallopian tube.

Study author Dr. Andrew Horne commented: “The research is exciting because it provides new scientific evidence to help understand why women who smoke are more likely to have ectopic pregnancies. It appears that smoking reduces the production of genes such as BAD which are involved in the control of cell death and promote an environment in the Fallopian tube which is attractive to the developing embryo.”

Ectopic pregnancy endangers the mother’s life and is the most common cause of death between pregnant women and during early pregnancy. Currently, there are no means to prevent ectopic pregnancy and it is treated by surgery or medicines.

"So our research may in future help scientists find ways to prevent ectopic pregnancy, diagnosis it better, and treat it earlier." Concluded Dr. Horne.


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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro


Source :

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