Does Getting Your Tonsils or Appendix Out Increase Your Fertility?

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It looks like getting your tonsils out could have some unexpected benefits (besides providing you with an excuse to eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream).  A recent study found that getting your tonsils or appendix removed could increase your chances of getting pregnant. Whether your tonsils are swollen or not, that could be hard to swallow. Let’s break it down.

The Study

The study, published in Fertility and Sterility, was conducted by Scottish researchers at the University of Dundee. The researchers examined 25 years of medical information on more than 500,000 women, comparing the history of surgeries with the rate of the women’s pregnancies.  They found that women who had had their tonsils removed had a pregnancy rate of 53 percent, while women who had their appendix removed had a rate of 54 percent.  The rate of pregnancy in women who never had either operation?  44 percent!  Now, brace yourselves: women who had had both surgeries had a pregnancy rate of a whopping 60 percent!

How?? Why??

Researchers are not completely sure.  One guess is that the removal of the tonsils and appendix protects the ovaries and the uterus.  This is because both the tonsils and the appendix are prone to infections and inflammations.

Does this mean I should get a tonsillectomy or appendectomy to increase my chances of getting pregnant?

No way!

Doctors do not recommend getting these surgeries to improve your chances of conception. These results simply show that you should not be concerned that an appendectomy or tonsillectomy have negatively affected your reproductive health.

When should I get my appendix or tonsils removed?

1 in 20 Americans experience appendicitis, which occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and fills with pus.  This condition requires immediate surgery, so you should head to the emergency room if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Dull pain near the naval area that sharpens as it moves to the lower right abdomen
  • Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Vomiting

Tonsillectomies, on the other hand, might be an option for you if you have frequent episodes of tonsillitis, experience sleep apnea or heavy snoring, or are struggling with halitosis. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Once again, neither surgery should be considered as a direct route to increased fertility.  Still, if you have had to undergo either of these operations, enjoy these unexpected benefits and maybe celebrate with some more ice cream!