Introduction: Ovarian endometriosis is the most common type of endometriosis (EM), affecting more than 40% of women with EM. Currently, surgical intervention is still controversial in infertile patients with ovarian endometriosis, especially in those with stage III-IV EM. Very few studies have been done to analyze long-term pregnancy results in patients with endometrioma more than 5 years after surgery. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the pregnancy outcomes and the related factors in patients with endometrioma and stage III-IV endometriosis during a long-term follow-up postoperatively.
Methods: We collected 347 patients with ovarian endometriosis, which included 59 infertile patients with stage III-IV endometriosis who had a minimum of 5 years of postoperative follow-up after undergoing laparoscopic excision of ovarian endometriomas performed by a single doctor at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital from January 2009 to April 2013.
Results: A total of 59 infertile patients were recruited. The mean age was 31.8 ± 3.6 years. The mean size of the endometriomas was 6.8 ± 3.3 cm. Before surgery, dysmenorrhea was present in 88.1% (52/59) of the cases, while chronic pelvic pain was reported in nine cases (15.3%). A total of 20.3% (12/59) of cases were concurrent with leiomyoma, 52.5% (31/59) with deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE), and 39.0% (23/59) with adenomyosis. During laparoscopy, 21 cases were diagnosed as stage III (35.6%) and 38 as stage IV (64.4%) EM according to the revised American Fertility Society (AFS) classification. After laparoscopic cystectomy, 38 (64.4%) patients became successfully pregnant by the 5th year. All the patients were divided into two groups according to the postoperative pregnancy outcomes. In univariate analysis, the higher mean age and concurrent diagnosis of adenomyosis were seen to be related to poor postoperative pregnancy outcomes (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, however, the mean age, chronic pelvic pain (CPP), and adenomyosis were independent risk factors of pregnancy outcomes between the two groups (p < 0.05). With a minimum follow-up of 6 years, 23.7% (14/59) of recurrence was observed in the entire study cohort.
Conclusion: Infertile patients with endometrioma and stage III-IV EM may have lower pregnancy rates after laparoscopic cystectomy if they are older and present with CPP and adenomyosis. Our data showed a lower rate of recurrence but a higher rate of pregnancy after surgery.
Keywords: Laparoscopic cystectomy; Ovarian endometriosis; Pregnancy rate; Women’s health.