Endometriosis can be a debilitating condition, impacting many areas of a patient’s life. The endometriosis and fertility link has long been studied and now a new study has revealed the true impact endometriosis has on IVF success.
It revealed patients with worsening endometriosis, had a reduced chance of pregnancy via In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Here, we’ll look at how the study was carried out and what it means for women suffering with Endometriosis who are considering going down the IVF route.
Understanding the study on endometriosis and fertility
The Israeli and Canadian study, published within The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynaecology, showed that worsening endometriosis in patients undergoing IVF decreased clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates.
There was a total of 216 infertile patients with endometriosis and 209 infertile patients without the condition, participating in the study. Those who did have endometriosis, were classified in accordance with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, with 58 patients in the Stage 1 category, 67 patients in the Stage 2 category, 63 patients in the Stage 3 category and 28 patients in the stage 4 category.
The patients were given a laparoscopy, along with an autologous IVF cycle between 2009 to 2014. After analysing the two groups, it was discovered patients with endometriosis had a consistent decline in ongoing and clinical pregnancy rates. It also identified a link to endometriosis surgery.
Those who waited 13 to 25 months after surgery to undergo IVF, had much better chances of success. The 13 to 25-month group had a 52.4% pregnancy rate, while those in the 7 to 12 month group had a 50% pregnancy rate. Those who waited until after 25 months, or from 0 to 3 months after surgery, had a lower 32.5% pregnancy rate.
Endometriosis and fertility link
Endometriosis is a common condition, and, in most cases, it has no impact on fertility. Those with a mild form of the condition typically have no issues falling pregnant naturally. However, as the condition worsens, it results in increased scar tissue which can decrease the chances of natural conception.
Although there is a link between endometriosis and infertility, the exact cause isn’t yet known. It is also still possible for patients with a severe form of the condition, to fall pregnant naturally. So, just because you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have trouble with fertility.
If you are diagnosed with fertility issues, there are treatment options available and IVF is one of them.
Is IVF a good treatment option?
Although the new research does determine that worsening forms of endometriosis can negatively impact IVF success, it is still considered an effective treatment option. Patients with a mild form of the condition should have similar chances of falling pregnant through IVF as women who do not have the condition.
The study also only assessed women who had undergone surgery to treat Endometriosis. So, it doesn’t apply to those who haven’t needed surgery. The best way to determine whether IVF is right for you, is to book a consultation with a fertility specialist. They will be able to assess the issue and figure out the best course of treatment to improve your chances of getting pregnant.