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20.04.2021 | Review Open Access

Appendectomy and women’s reproductive outcomes: a review of the literature

European Surgery
Lucia Merlino, Alessandra Chiné, Giulia Carletti, Federica Del Prete, Massimo Codacci Pisanelli, Luca Titi, Maria Grazia Piccioni
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The most frequent abdominal surgery performed for benign disease in females of fertile age is appendectomy, which remains among the most common surgeries and is a possible cause of peritoneal adhesions. The fact that appendectomy can cause adhesions may lead one to think that this may be a relevant risk factor for infertility; however, there is no universal agreement regarding the association between appendectomy and fertility. The aim of this review is to evaluate weather appendectomy may have a relevant impact on female fertility.


The search was conducted in PubMed and there was no limitation set on the date of publication. All studies regarding populations of female patients who had undergone appendectomy for inflamed appendix, perforated appendix, or negative appendix between childhood and the end of the reproductive period were included.


Some authors believe that pelvic surgery can cause adhesions which can potentially lead to tubal infertility by causing tubal obstruction or by altering motility of fimbriae, tubal fluid secretion, and embryo transport. On the other hand, the most recent evidence reported that removal of the appendix seems to be associated with an increased pregnancy rate in large population studies.


Despite the existence of contrasting opinions concerning fertility after appendectomy, the most recent evidence suggests that appendectomy may actually lead to improved fertility and decreased time to pregnancy. Appendectomy seems to be correlated with improved fertility and higher pregnancy rates.

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