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"Do laparoscopies reduce fertility?"
I'm getting a laparoscopy soon as part of my fertility treatment - my obgyn says it's important to see if there are visible problems. But I'm worried about the procedure. Is it possible that a laparoscopy can actually be counterproductive by causing problems that reduce your fertility?
Laparoscopies are procedures that allow for the surgeon to evaluate and possible operate upon the abdominal cavity using a small corridor (one or more very small incisions on the belly) and long instruments. An endoscope is a camera attached to the end of a long instrument and this is used to see within the abdominal cavity during this procedure. After access has been acquired into the abdomen, the cavity is usually insufflated with an inert gas, usually CO2 to allow for more room to look around and perform procedures if necessary.
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There are risks associated with these procedures including the risk that one of the tools may cause damage within the abdominal cavity. Obtaining access into the abdominal cavity usually requires using a sharp instrument to pierce the tough covering of the abdomen. When doing this, it is possible to perforate the underlying organs, such as the bowels. Laproscopic procedures are done very often and for many different surgeries and should not cause any reduction in your fertility per se. On the other hand, if something is found during your laparoscopy that may be causing your infertility, it may be possible that this can be surgically corrected during the same procedure. Discuss this and other questions related to laparoscopy with your ob/gyn, who will be best able to evaluate your clinical history and presentation and decide what is the best work up to evaluate your infertility.
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