RESEARCH QUESTION: To evaluate the findings of outpatient transvaginal hydrolaparoscopy (THL) in comparison with diagnostic laparoscopy combined with chromopertubation in subfertile women.
DESIGN: In a retrospective study in four large teaching hospitals, all subfertile women who underwent a THL and a conventional laparoscopy as part of their fertility work-up in the period between 2000 and 2011 were studied. Findings at THL were compared with findings at diagnostic and therapeutic laparoscopies. Tubal occlusion, endometriosis and adhesions were defined as abnormalities.
RESULTS: Out of 1119 women, 1103 women underwent THL. A complete evaluation or incomplete but diagnostic procedure could be performed in 989 (89.7%) and 28 (2.5%), respectively. An incomplete non-diagnostic procedure was performed in 11 (1.0%) women. Failure of THL occurred in 75 women (6.8%) and 40 of these women (3.6%) subsequently underwent laparoscopy. Laparoscopy was performed in a total of 126 patients with a median time interval of 7 weeks (interquartile range [IQR] 3-13 weeks). Of 64 patients who successfully underwent both THL and laparoscopy, concordant findings were found in 53 women and discordant results in 11 women, 6 of which were caused by tubal spasm. Sensitivity of THL in detecting abnormalities was 100% and specificity was 22.2%, with a likelihood ratio of 1.29.
CONCLUSION: THL in an outpatient setting can detect anatomical abnormalities comparable to the more invasive reference standard diagnostic laparoscopy. If THL succeeds, there is no need to add a diagnostic laparoscopy in the work-up.