Hysteroscopy for treating subfertility associated with suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities

Jan Bosteels, Steffi van Wessel, Steven Weyers, Frank J. Broekmans, Thomas M. D'Hooghe, M. Y. Bongers, Ben Willem J. Mol

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27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Observational studies suggest higher pregnancy rates after the hysteroscopic removal of endometrial polyps, submucous fibroids, uterine septum or intrauterine adhesions, which are present in 10% to 15% of women seeking treatment for subfertility. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of the hysteroscopic removal of endometrial polyps, submucous fibroids, uterine septum or intrauterine adhesions suspected on ultrasound, hysterosalpingography, diagnostic hysteroscopy or any combination of these methods in women with otherwise unexplained subfertility or prior to intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). SEARCH METHODS: We searched the following databases from their inception to 16 April 2018; The Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Studies Online, ; MEDLINE, Embase , CINAHL , and other electronic sources of trials including trial registers, sources of unpublished literature, and reference lists. We handsearched the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) conference abstracts and proceedings (from 1 January 2014 to 12 May 2018) and we contacted experts in the field. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised comparison between operative hysteroscopy versus control for unexplained subfertility associated with suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities.Randomised comparison between operative hysteroscopy versus control for suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities prior to medically assisted reproduction.Primary outcomes were live birth and hysteroscopy complications. Secondary outcomes were pregnancy and miscarriage. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion and risk of bias, and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. MAIN RESULTS: Two studies met the inclusion criteria.1. Randomised comparison between operative hysteroscopy versus control for unexplained subfertility associated with suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities.In women with otherwise unexplained subfertility and submucous fibroids, we were uncertain whether hysteroscopic myomectomy improved the clinical pregnancy rate compared to expectant management (odds ratio (OR) 2.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97 to 6.17; P = 0.06, 94 women; very low-quality evidence). We are uncertain whether hysteroscopic myomectomy improves the miscarriage rate compared to expectant management (OR 1.54, 95% CI 0.47 to 5.00; P = 0.47, 94 women; very low-quality evidence). We found no data on live birth or hysteroscopy complication rates. We found no studies in women with endometrial polyps, intrauterine adhesions or uterine septum for this randomised comparison.2. Randomised comparison between operative hysteroscopy versus control for suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities prior to medically assisted reproduction.The hysteroscopic removal of polyps prior to IUI may have improved the clinical pregnancy rate compared to diagnostic hysteroscopy only: if 28% of women achieved a clinical pregnancy without polyp removal, the evidence suggested that 63% of women (95% CI 45% to 89%) achieved a clinical pregnancy after the hysteroscopic removal of the endometrial polyps (OR 4.41, 95% CI 2.45 to 7.96; P < 0.00001, 204 women; low-quality evidence). We found no data on live birth, hysteroscopy complication or miscarriage rates in women with endometrial polyps prior to IUI. We found no studies in women with submucous fibroids, intrauterine adhesions or uterine septum prior to IUI or in women with all types of suspected uterine cavity abnormalities prior to IVF/ICSI. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Uncertainty remains concerning an important benefit with the hysteroscopic removal of submucous fibroids for improving the clinical pregnancy rates in women with otherwise unexplained subfertility. The available low-quality evidence suggests that the hysteroscopic removal of endometrial polyps suspected on ultrasound in women prior to IUI may improve the clinical pregnancy rate compared to simple diagnostic hysteroscopy. More research is needed to measure the effectiveness of the hysteroscopic treatment of suspected major uterine cavity abnormalities in women with unexplained subfertility or prior to IUI, IVF or ICSI.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD009461
Number of pages62
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018

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