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In ectopic pregnancies, β-HCG levels usually increase less.

Concurrently, however, the case-fatality rate decreased from 35.5 deaths per 10,000 cases in 1970 to 2.6 per 10,000 cases in 1992.

(See Epidemiology.) The increased incidence of ectopic pregnancy has been partially attributed to improved ability in making an earlier diagnosis.

Laparoscopy remains the criterion standard for diagnosis; however, its routine use on all patients suspected of ectopic pregnancy may lead to unnecessary risks, morbidity, and costs.

Some ectopic pregnancies implant in the cervix ( An ectopic pregnancy requires the occurrence of 2 events: fertilization of the ovum and abnormal implantation.

In theory, anything that hampers or delays the migration of the fertilized ovum (blastocyst) to the endometrial cavity can predispose a woman to ectopic gestation.

The following risk factors have been linked to ectopic pregnancy: The most logical explanation for the increasing frequency of ectopic pregnancy is previous pelvic infection; however, most patients presenting with an ectopic pregnancy have no identifiable risk factor.

Ectopic pregnancies that previously would have resulted in tubal abortion or complete, spontaneous reabsorption and remained clinically undiagnosed are now detected.