Objective: The purpose of this study was to observe the natural history of untreated asymptomatic rectovaginal endometriosis.
Study design: This was a prospective, observational study. Eighty-eight patients with untreated asymptomatic rectovaginal endometriosis were followed for 1 to 9 years. Pain symptoms and clinical and transrectal ultrasonographic findings were evaluated before and every 6 months after diagnosis.
Results: Two patients had specific symptoms that were attributable to rectovaginal endometriosis that was associated with an increase in lesion size and underwent surgery. In 4 other patients, the size of the endometriotic lesions increased, but the patients remained symptom free. The estimated cumulative proportion of patients with progression of disease and/or appearance of pain symptoms that were attributable to rectovaginal endometriosis after 6 years of follow up was 9.7%. For the remaining patients, the follow-up period was uneventful, with no detectable clinical nor echographic changes of the lesions and with no appearance of new symptoms.
Conclusion: Progression of the disease and appearance of specific symptoms rarely occurred in patients with asymptomatic rectovaginal endometriosis.