Background Laparoscopy has been claimed to be superior to hysterosalpingography (HSG) in predicting fertility. Whether this conclusion is applicable to a general subfertile population can be questioned as data in support of this claim were collected in third line centres. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic capacity of HSG and laparoscopy in a general subfertile population. Methods In 38 centres, we prospectively studied a cohort of patients referred for subfertility between 2002 and 2004, who underwent HSG and/or laparoscopy as part of their subfertility work-up. Follow-up started immediately after tubal testing and ended 12 months thereafter. Time to pregnancy was censored at the of date last contact, when the woman was not pregnant or at the start of treatment. KaplanMeier curves for the occurrence of spontaneous intrauterine pregnancy were constructed for patients without tubal pathology, for those with unilateral tubal pathology and for patients with bilateral tubal pathology at HSG or laparoscopy. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to calculate fecundity rate ratios (FRRs) to express associations between tubal pathology and the occurrence of an intrauterine pregnancy. Results Of the 3301 included patients, 2043 underwent HSG only, 747 underwent diagnostic laparoscopy only and 511 underwent both. At HSG, 322 (13) patients showed unilateral tubal pathology and 135 (5) showed bilateral tubal pathology. At laparoscopy, 167 (13) showed unilateral tubal pathology and 215 (17) showed bilateral tubal pathology. Multivariable analysis resulted in FRRs of 0.81 [95 confidence interval (CI): 0.591.1] for unilateral, and 0.28 (95 CI: 0.130.59) for bilateral, tubal pathology at HSG. The FRRs at laparoscopy were 0.85 (95 CI: 0.471.52) for unilateral, and 0.24 (95 CI: 0.110.54) for bilateral, tubal pathology. Conclusions Patients with unilateral tubal pathology at HSG and laparoscopy had a moderate reduction in pregnancy chances, whereas those with bilateral tubal pathology at HSG and laparoscopy had a severe reduction in pregnancy chances. This reduction was similar for HSG and laparoscopy, suggesting that HSG and laparoscopy have a comparable predictive capacity for natural conception.
- tubal pathology