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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1034:300-15.

Endometriosis and inflammation in infertility.

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Endometriosezentrum Berlin, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CBF, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.


A wealth of publications proposes that endometriosis and inflammation may have an unfavorable influence on fertility. A recent meta-analysis of assisted reproductive technologies demonstrated that, once confounding factors are controlled for, the pregnancy rate in women with endometriosis is approximately 50% of the rate of women with tubal factor infertility. Peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis contains elevated amounts of macrophages and their secreted products, such as growth factors, cytokines, and angiogenic factors. Because reproductive organs are bathed in and thus will be influenced by peritoneal fluid, these proinflammatory mediators would affect various aspects of reproduction in women with endometriosis. Advanced stages of endometriosis may have easily understandable factors, such as distortion of the anatomy, causing infertility. On the other hand, in minimal or mild endometriosis mechanisms underlying reproductive failure are subtle and remain controversial. Recent reports suggest that inflammatory factors play a role in this endometriosis-associated reproductive failure. This review provides an overview of recent data on the effects of endometriosis-associated inflammation on fertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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