Diagnostic laparoscopy in infertile women with normal hysterosalpingograms

Ismail A. Al-Badawi, Margo R. Fluker, Michael W. Bebbington

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52 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of laparoscopy in infertile women with normal hysterosalpingograms, with and without risk factors suggesting pelvic disease. STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively reviewed 1,022 consecutive charts from a tertiary infertility practice. In 265 women, laparoscopies were performed after normal hysterosalpingograms. RESULTS: Laparoscopies were normal in 136 (51%) women, whereas 129 (49%) had one or more abnormal laparoscopic findings, including minimal or mild endometriosis (n = 85), moderate or severe endometriosis (n=11), adnexal adhesions (n = 27), subserosaI myomas (n = 17), ovarian neoplasms (n = 5), distal phimosis (n = 1) and salpingitis isthmica nodosa (n = 1). Only 7% of cases had findings that might require standard operative laparoscopy or laparotomy, although not all were causally related to infertility. A history of dysmenorrhea or dyspareunia increased the likelihood of detecting endometriosis from 41% to 64% and 69%, respectively. The presence of both symptoms increased the likelihood to 83%. CONCLUSION: In the presence of a normal hysterosalpingogram, laparoscopy identified other pelvic disease in about half of patients. Because most abnormalities were mild, this knowledge can be used to plan a microlaparoscopic approach for many women, reserving traditional or operative laparoscopy for women with an abnormal hysterosalpingogram or extensive disease following microlaparoscopy. Alternately, knowledge of the nature and severity of the expected laparoscopic findings might lead to bypassing laparoscopy in favor of assisted reproduction when the perceived benefit of surgical intervention is small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-957
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • Female
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Infertility
  • Laparoscopy


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