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Fertil Steril. 1995 Mar;63(3):555-62.

The effect of endometriosis, its stage and activity, and of autoantibodies on in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer success rates.

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  • 1Oakbrook Fertility Center, Illinois.



To analyze IVF cycle parameters, including pregnancy rates (PR), in women with and without endometriosis and to evaluate the effect of the stage and activity of endometriosis and of autoantibodies.


A retrospective analysis of 237 consecutive IVF cycles (193 patients), 119 in women with and 118 without endometriosis. The endometriosis group was further subdivided according to the stage and activity of the disease and autoantibody positivity.


Hospital-based and freestanding IVF programs with the same IVF team.


One hundred ninety-three women of reproductive age undergoing IVF; 84 had prior diagnosis of endometriosis, and 109 had other indications for IVF. Within the endometriosis group, 40 did and 44 did not have evidence of active disease. Autoantibodies were measured in 50 patients.


The IVF protocol was standard with GnRH agonist administered from the midluteal phase of the preceding cycle. Variables included the method of ET and the use of corticosteroids.


Number of follicles produced, number of eggs retrieved, fertilization rates, number of embryos transferred, and PR per transfer.


There was no difference between groups in the response to stimulation, number of oocytes retrieved, number fertilized, and number cleaved. The overall PR was 27% per transfer; it was similar in women with and without endometriosis (29% and 25%, respectively). There was also no difference in PR according to the stage or activity of the disease. However, PR in autoantibody-positive and -negative patients were significantly different (22.9% and 45.7%, respectively). Among autoantibody-positive patients treated with corticosteroids, 8 of 10 conceived.


This study confirms previous reports that IVF success rates are comparable in women with and without endometriosis regardless of the activity and stage of the disease. However, our study also indicates that autoantibodies may affect adversely implantation of embryos and that this effect can be overcome by administration of corticosteroids.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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