Getting to Know Endometriosis-Related Infertility Better: A Review on How Endometriosis Affects Oocyte Quality and Embryo Development

Biomedicines. 2021 Mar 9;9(3):273. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9030273.


Endometriosis-related infertility describes a case of deteriorated fecundity when endometriosis is diagnosed. Numerous mechanisms have been proposed in an effort to delineate the multifaceted pathophysiology that induces impairment of reproductive dynamics in patients with endometriosis. In this critical analysis, authors present the plethora of molecular events that are entailed and elaborate on how they potentially impair the oocyte's and embryo's competence in patients with endometriosis. Reactive oxygen species, dysregulation of the immune system and cellular architectural disruption constitute the crucial mechanisms that detrimentally affect oocyte and embryo developmental potential. The molecular level impairment of the reproductive tissue is discussed, since differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis constitute focal regulatory cellular functions that appear severely compromised in cases of endometriosis. Mapping the precise molecular mechanisms entailed in endometriosis-related infertility may help delineate the complex nature of the disorder and bring us a step closer to a more personalized approach in understanding, diagnosing and managing endometriosis-related infertility.

Keywords: embryo; endometriosis; infertility; oocyte; quality.

Publication types

  • Review