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Appendectomies no threat to fertility, study says

Getting an appendectomy doesn't seem to hurt a woman's chance of having babies, according to a new study that contradicts long-held beliefs among fertility experts.

In fact, UK researchers found women who'd had their appendix removed were more likely to get pregnant later on than women who hadn't had the common surgery.

Dr. Alan B. Copperman, who heads the division of reproductive endocrinology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and was not involved in the new work, called the results "reassuring."

"We always assume that appendectomy is a risk factor for infertility," he told Reuters Health. "This study showed us it wasn't necessarily the appendectomy that put patients at risk."

Still, he warned, "I would not conclude that your fertility is enhanced by appendectomy."

The procedure is one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. and is usually done to treat appendicitis, a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the appendix.

One in 14 people nationally will have appendicitis at some point in their life. It most commonly occurs in young people age 10 to 30.

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