Medical professionals have widely believed that women receiving appendectomies are not at an increased risk of developing fertility problems. However, a new UK study founds that may not be the case. To the contrary, the study found that women who received an appendectomy had a better chance of getting pregnant later in life.
Dr. Sami Shimi is a surgeon and medical professor in Scotland. He said that studies have shown that women are more likely to become infertile after an appendectomy. Shimi wasn’t convinced by these studies, because the data other researchers used to draw their conclusions wasn’t compelling at all.
Shimi and a number of his colleagues decided to investigate more thoroughly. Rather than conducting a study with a small sample size, they gathered results from a previous cases. They looked at records from theÂ General Practice Research Database from the UK. The database had medical records of nearly 76,000 women. Among those who received appendectomies, 39% became pregnant over the next ten years. Only 28% of women who had not had the procedure became pregnant over the decade after their surgery.
A number of professionals who were not associated with the study said the study offers hope to many women.Â Dr. Alan B. Copperman is a leading researcher in reproductive endocrinology. Copperman said that he and his colleagues have always assumed that appendectomies could create complications that would reduce the chances of conception. However, he said the new study shows that the operation itself may not be the risk factor.
That being said, Copperman wanted to advise patients to take the other claims of the study with a grain of salt. The study showed that patients receiving an appendectomy were more likely to get pregnant when they aged. He said that although that could be encouraging news, a number of factors could have biased the results. Copperman said that researchers shouldn’t place too much emphasis on that element of the study, but feels that the overall findings were very encouraging for women looking to become pregnant.