Management of Endometriosis in the Infertile Patient

Semin Reprod Med. 2017 Jan;35(1):31-37. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1597125. Epub 2016 Dec 7.


The management of endometriosis-related infertility remains debated. However, in recent years, the role of in vitro fertilization (IVF) has progressively grown. Reasons to explain this change include (1) the improvement of the effectiveness and safety of IVF, (2) the raised awareness of the modest effectiveness of surgery, (3) the inherent risks of surgery including in particular the damage to the ovarian reserve when ovarian endometriomas have to be removed, (4) the ineffectiveness of intrauterine insemination and the possible risks of endometriosis progression associated with the use of this technique. However, IVF is not able to overcome all the potential detrimental effects of endometriosis and can actually fail. Future efforts should aim at improving the effectiveness and safety of both surgery and IVF. Fertility preservation techniques may play a role in the future, but data are currently too scanty to support its recommendation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis / complications
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology
  • Endometriosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Fertility Preservation* / adverse effects
  • Fertility*
  • Fertilization in Vitro* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Insemination, Artificial* / adverse effects
  • Laparoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Failure


  • Fertility Agents, Female