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The effect of appendectomy in future tubal infertility and ectopic pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Ruptured appendicitis has been implicated in causing scarring, which can lead to infertility and/or ectopic pregnancy. To assess the degree of association and the quality of evidence supporting the relation among appendectomy, female fertility outcomes, and ectopic pregnancy.

METHODS: We systematically searched multiple electronic databases from inception through May 2013 for randomized trials and observational studies. Reviewers working independently and in duplicate extracted the study characteristics, the quality of the included studies, and the outcomes of interest. Random effects meta-analysis was used to pool the odds ratio (OR) from the included studies.

RESULTS: Our meta-analysis based on seven observational studies provided evidence that previous appendectomy is not associated with increased incidence of infertility in women (OR = 1.03, 0.86-1.24, P = 0.71). This finding was further augmented by several noncomparative cohorts that discussed the same issue and reported nearly the same conclusion; however, these studies pointed toward putative negative impact of surgery for complicated appendicitis on fertility. Our second meta-analysis revealed the effect of appendectomy on ectopic pregnancy was found to be significant based on a pooled estimate from four studies (OR = 1.78, 95% confidence interval = 1.46-2.16, P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Appendectomy is significantly associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy but not significantly associated with future infertility in women.

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