Prognostic significance of diagnostic laparoscopy for spontaneous fertility

Ben W.J. Mol, Patricia Swart, Patrick M.M. Bossuyt, Fulco Van Der Veen

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17 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine the prognostic significance of laparoscopy results for fertility outcome. STUDY DESIGN: Consecutive patients undergoing hysterosalpingography and laparoscopy for subfertility in our department between May 1985 and November 1987 were identified from medical records. The impact of tubal occlusion, hydrosalpinx and adhesions as detected at laparoscopy was studied. Kaplan-Meier curves for the occurrence of spontaneous intrauterine pregnancy were constructed for patients without tubal pathology, with mild tubal pathology (unilateral pathology or adhesions) and with severe tubal pathology (bilateral pathology). Fecundity rate ratios (FRR) were calculated to express the association between findings at laparoscopy and the occurrence of spontaneous intrauterine pregnancy. RESULTS: Of the 200 cases that could be analyzed, 129 (65%) showed no tubal occlusion on laparoscopy, 40 (20%) had unilateral tubal occlusion, and 31 (15%) had bilateral tubal occlusion. Unilateral hydrosalpinx was present in 13 (7%) patients, whereas 19 (10%) patients had bilateral hydrosalpinx. Adjusted FRRs were 0.65 and 0.20 for unilateral and bilateral tubal occlusion, and 0.46 and 0.32 for unilateral and bilateral hydrosalpinx. Peritubal adhesions were detected in 43% of patients and seemed to have no prognostic significance. CONCLUSION: Severe tubal pathology detected at laparoscopy affects fertility prospects strongly. However, since spontaneous intrauterine pregnancies occurred even in patients with bilateral tubal occlusion at laparoscopy, this technique should not be considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of tubal infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Female
  • Infertility
  • Laparoscopy
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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