Uterine anomalies and endometriosis

Minerva Med. 2020 Feb;111(1):33-49. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4806.19.06341-9. Epub 2019 Nov 12.


Introduction: Endometriosis is a common disease in women of reproductive age. In addition to causing pain, it may also reduce fertility. The coexistence of endometriosis and congenital uterine anomalies (CUA) has been frequently reported in the published literature. The present report is a review of existing studies on the subject and our own hitherto unpublished data.

Evidence acquisition: The electronic search was conducted using the Pubmed database with specific keyword combinations including endometriosis, adenomyosis, infertility, Müllerian malformations/anomalies, and septate uterus. The principal aspects addressed in the present study were: diagnosis, management, and classification of CUA, their impact on fertility and coexistence with endometriosis.

Evidence synthesis: Endometriosis and CUA are frequently detected in the exploration of infertility, because both of these are liable to impair fertility. Endometriosis is associated with obstructive anomalies and nonobstructive malformations, especially those concerning the septate uterus. The diagnosis and management of CUA have been discussed for several years. Various classification systems have been proposed.

Conclusions: The analysis of the existing literature has revealed the absence of any consensus about the management, diagnosis, and classification of CUA, especially with regard to the septate uterus. We need to find and speak a common language in order to avoid inappropriate or unnecessary surgery and optimize the individual patient's treatment. The combined presence of endometriosis or adenomyosis and CUA is a reason to perform precise diagnostic imaging investigations and early surgery for the purpose of enhancing the chances of pregnancy in infertile patients. Further research is needed on the subject.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomyosis / complications
  • Adenomyosis / pathology
  • Endometriosis / complications*
  • Endometriosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Ultrasonography
  • Urogenital Abnormalities / classification
  • Urogenital Abnormalities / complications*
  • Urogenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Urogenital Abnormalities / therapy
  • Uterus / abnormalities*

Supplementary concepts

  • Uterine Anomalies