Female fertility after colorectal surgery for familial adenomatous polyposis: a nationwide cross-sectional study

Ann Surg. 2010 Aug;252(2):341-4. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181e9829f.


Background: Information on postoperative fertility problems in female patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is scarce. Previous studies in FAP or colitis patients almost uniformly describe a reduction in fertility after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, compared with ileorectal anastomosis.

Objective: To describe fertility problems in female FAP patients after colectomy and to investigate the relationship between self-reported fertility problems and the type of operation and other surgery-related factors (eg, comorbid conditions).

Methods: A questionnaire addressing surgery, fertility problems, and desire to have children was sent to a nationwide sample of FAP patients. Medical data were verified in the FAP-registry of the Netherlands Foundation for the Detection of Hereditary Tumors. Differences between women with and without fertility problems were investigated.

Results: Of 138 patients, 23 (17%) reported current or past fertility problems. The prevalence of fertility problems was similar among those who had undergone ileorectal anastomosis, ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, and proctocolectomy with ileostomy. None of the other surgery-related factors, nor desmoid tumors or cancer were associated significantly with the development of fertility problems. Patients reporting fertility problems were significantly younger at diagnosis of FAP (mean, 20 vs. 27 years, P < 0.05) and at the time of the first surgical procedure (mean, 22 vs. 28 years, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The risk of developing postoperative fertility problems is not associated significantly with the type of surgery, indication for surgery, complications, or other comorbid conditions. Postoperative fertility problems are more common among women who had their first surgical procedure at a younger age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colonic Pouches
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology
  • Infertility, Female / etiology*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires