Surgery for endometriosis-associated infertility: a pragmatic approach
Authors: Vercellini, Paolo; Somigliana, Edgardo; Vigan, Paola; Abbiati, Annalisa; Barbara, Giussy; Crosignani, Pier Giorgio
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 24, Number 2, 16 February 2009 , pp. 254-269(16)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Laparoscopic treatment for endometriosis-associated infertility is gaining widespread popularity supported mostly by uncontrolled studies, but the purported benefit of surgery may be overvalued. We have therefore analysed the best available evidence with the aim of defining an approximate estimate of the effect size of conservative surgery for infertile women with endometriosis in various clinical conditions. The overall increase in post-operative likelihood of conception over background pregnancy rate may be estimated to be between 10 and 25. The effect of surgery for peritoneal lesions is limited, and an estimate of benefit should be decreased by the fact that preoperative identification of the subjects actually with the condition is unfeasible. The benefit of excision of ovarian endometriomas is difficult to define due to multiple confounding factors and methodological drawbacks in the considered studies. Excision of rectovaginal endometriosis is of doubtful value and associated with worrying morbidity. The role of surgery before, after or as an alternative to IVF needs clarification. In conclusion, the absolute benefit increase of surgery for endometriosis-associated infertility appears smaller than previously believed. Complete and detailed information on risks and benefits of treatment alternatives must be offered to infertile patients to allow unbiased choices between possible options.
Document Type: Opinion
Publication date: 16 February 2009
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.