One of the many myths regarding pregnancy and conception has recently been busted. For years, there has been a lot of confusion on whether having tonsils and appendixes removed reduced a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Now, finally, the myth has officially been laid to rest.
According to a 15-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Dundee in Scotland, women who had their tonsils or appendixes removed were actually found to be more likely to get pregnant than women who never go through with the surgeries, CNN reported.
During the study, researchers examined more than 530,000 medical records of women located in the United Kingdom and discovered pregnancy rates were higher than women who had their tonsils and appendixes removed. Women who had their appendixes removed increased their chances of getting pregnant by 54 percent; those who had their tonsils removed increased their chances of pregnancy by 53 percent. Women who had both organs removed were even more likely to get pregnant at 59 percent.
According to Dr. Sami Shimi, a consultant surgeon and clinical lecturer in surgery at the University of Dundee, the study has “challenged the myth that was previously accepted on the deleterious effects of appendectomies.”
In the past it was believed that the surgeries, especially appendectomies, reduced chances of fertility because of scar tissue that may form around a woman’s fallopian tubes. However, Dr. Shimi says ladies that may need the surgeries and wish to conceive shouldn’t worry.
“Young women should not have any fear or anxiety about an appendectomy (or tonsillectomy) reducing their fertility,” he continued.
Although the myth has officially been busted, the University of Dundee’s latest study has led to another question regarding tonsillectomies, appendectomies and pregnancies: Is a woman’s likelihood to conceive higher after surgery biological or behavioral?
“We now need to find the mechanism,” Dr. Shimi said. “We’re not discounting either for now.”
If the answer is biological, then the idea would suggest that either tonsil or appendix inflammation weakens the body and limits the ability for a woman to conceive. Whereas if the answer is behavioral, Dr. Shimi suggests that increased sex and intimate contact may increase a woman’s chances of tonsillitis and abdominal pain, which could lead a female to quicker investigations allowing the inflamed appendix or tonsil to be spotted and handled sooner, resulting in a high chances of conception.
Needless to say, both ideas require further studying.
"Young women should not seek appendectomies or tonsillectomies to increase their chances of pregnancy," Shimi said. "But if they need one, the operation will not reduce their future chances of pregnancy."
However, that isn’t the only pregnancy myth that’s been found out to be not so true.
The following is a list of three other pregnancy myths that have turned out to be false in recent studies according to Parents magazine.
1. Pregnant women should stay away from seafood: Actually it’s been proven that eating fish high in omaga-3 fatty acids and low in mercury produce smarter kids. Kids whose moms ate 12 ounces or seafood weekly during pregnancy had high verbal IQ, social and communication skills.
2. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat sweets: Granted it is true expectant moms should lay off the processed sugar, research has shown eating chocolate every day while carrying leads to babies who show less fear and smile and laugh more often as young as six months old. It’s also been proven pregnant women who eat five or more servings of chocolate each week in the third trimester of pregnancy are 40 percent less likely of developing preeclampsia, a dangerous high blood pressure condition.
3. A fetus isn’t affected by the environment: Because a growing fetus is safe within its mother’s womb, there have been claims that the outside elements can have no effect on a fetus' development. However, studies have proven that everything a woman encounters daily, such as food, drinks, chemicals she’s exposed to, the air she breathes, microwaved plastic ware – literally everything – is also consumed by the fetus and can impact a child's growth.