The uterus and fertility

Fertil Steril. 2008 Jan;89(1):1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.09.069. Epub 2007 Dec 21.


Objective: To review the current understanding of the role the uterus plays in embryo implantation and to outline congenital anomalies and acquired diseases that impact normal uterine function.

Design: The publications related to the embryo implantation, Mullerian anomalies, uterine polyps, uterine synechiae, and myomas were identified through Medline and reviewed.

Conclusion(s): Congenital anomalies and acquired diseases of the uterus may negatively impact on the complex processes of embryo implantation. Hysteroscopic surgery to correct uterine septa, intrauterine synechiae, and myomas that distort the uterine cavity may benefit women with infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. The effect of endometrial polyps on fertility is uncertain, but their removal, once identified, is justifiable. Complex congenital anomalies such as unicornuate uterus and uterus didelphys may negatively affect fertility and pregnancy outcome, and surgical treatment may benefit select patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Embryo Implantation*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / complications
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology*
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / surgery
  • Leiomyoma / complications
  • Leiomyoma / physiopathology
  • Mullerian Ducts / abnormalities
  • Mullerian Ducts / physiopathology
  • Polyps / complications
  • Polyps / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Tissue Adhesions / complications
  • Tissue Adhesions / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Diseases / complications
  • Uterine Diseases / physiopathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / complications
  • Uterine Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Uterus / abnormalities
  • Uterus / physiopathology*
  • Uterus / surgery