Appendix and tonsil removals 'linked with higher pregnancy rates'

2 August 2016

Women who undergo appendectomy or tonsillectomy operations are more likely to get pregnant, according to a new study.

Carried out by the University of Dundee, the research examined anonymised medical records for hundreds of thousands of women across the UK, finding that the average rate of pregnancies was 43.7 per cent for the general population.

However, this figure rose to 54.4 per cent for women who had the appendices removed when they were younger and to 53.4 per cent for those who had had their tonsils taken out, while women who received both appendectomies and tonsillectomies had a pregnancy rate of 59.7 per cent.

Time to pregnancy was also shortest among those who had both an appendectomy and tonsillectomy. The findings contradict the previously-held belief that appendectomies had a negative effect on fertility.

Sami Shimi, clinical senior lecturer at the University of Dundee School of Medicine, said: "This scientifically challenges the myth of the effect of appendectomy on fertility. What we have to establish now is exactly why that is the case."

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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