The effect of intramural fibroids without uterine cavity involvement on the outcome of IVF treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Hum Reprod. 2010 Feb;25(2):418-29. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep396. Epub 2009 Nov 12.


Background: The influence of fibroids on fertility is poorly understood. Submucosal and intramural fibroids that distort the endometrial cavity have been associated with decreased pregnancy rates (PRs) following IVF treatment. However, there is uncertainty about the effect of intramural fibroids that do not distort the endometrial cavity on IVF outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies to evaluate the association between non-cavity-distorting intramural fibroids and IVF outcome. Searches were conducted on MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Study selection and data extraction were conducted independently by two reviewers. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scales were used for quality assessment. Meta-analysis was performed if appropriate.

Results: We identified 19 observational studies comprising 6087 IVF cycles. Meta-analysis of these studies showed a significant decrease in the live birth (RR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.70-0.88, P < 0.0001) and clinical PRs (RR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.77-0.94, P = 0.002) in women with non-cavity-distorting intramural fibroids compared with those without fibroids, following IVF treatment.

Conclusion: The presence of non-cavity-distorting intramural fibroids is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in women undergoing IVF treatment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Embryo Implantation
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Uterine Neoplasms / complications*