From the Journals

Consider ART for younger endometriosis patients



Endometriosis patients experiencing infertility can benefit from assisted reproductive technology (ART) at a young age, but non-ART infertility treatment is less likely to succeed in the endometriosis population, according to data from approximately 1,800 women with infertility.

IVF ©ktsimage/

Moderate to severe endometriosis had a negative impact on the outcome of ART, but “the efficacy of non-ART treatment in patients with endometriosis remains elusive” wrote Wataru Isono of the University of Tokyo, and colleagues.

In a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Research, the investigators sought to determine the impact of endometriosis severity on the effectiveness of non-ART treatment. They calculated the cumulative live birth rates for women treated with ART and non-ART.

Overall, 49% of the 894 ART patients and 22% of the 1,358 non-ART patients gave birth after treatment. The birth rate remained more than twice as high among ART patients across all age groups, but declined among ART patients starting at 35 years of age and declined sharply as patients reached 40 years of age.

“The most important aspect of this study was that we determined the limitations of non-ART and sought to identify optimal management methods, as non-ART can be a more cost-effective treatment than ART in certain circumstances,” the researchers noted.

They then focused on 288 patients with advanced endometriosis, defined as stage III or IV according to the revised American Society for Reproductive Medicine score. Notably, the presence of moderate to severe endometriosis had a significant effect on the outcomes of non-ART patients in their 30s, but ART was effective in this age group in a multivariate analysis. The cumulative live birth rate in advanced endometriosis patients was significantly lower than in those without the condition who underwent non-ART treatment (10% vs. 25%). However, cumulative live birth rates after ART were not significantly different among advanced endometriosis patients, compared with patients without advanced endometriosis (45% vs. 51%).

The study was limited by several factors including the inability to analyze the varied types of infertility treatment, Dr. Isono and associates noted. However, “our results may provide infertility patients with accurate information regarding their expected probabilities of achieving a live birth and may help them select the optimal treatment based on their classification according to various risk factors,” they said.

The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose. The study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences; Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture; the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development; and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

SOURCE: Isono W et al. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2018. doi: 10.1111/jog.13826.

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