Conservative Management of Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia and Early Endometrial Cancer in Childbearing Age Women

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Sep 11;58(9):1256. doi: 10.3390/medicina58091256.


Total hysterectomy and bilateral adnexectomy is the standard treatment for atypical endometrial hyperplasia and early-stage endometrial cancer. However, the recommended surgical treatment precludes future pregnancy when these conditions are diagnosed in women in their fertile age. In these patients, fertility-sparing treatment may be feasible if the desire for childbearing is consistent and specific conditions are present. This review summarizes the available evidence on fertility-sparing management for atypical endometrial hyperplasia and early-stage endometrial cancer. Historically, oral progestins have been the mainstay of conservative management for atypical endometrial hyperplasia and stage IA endometrioid endometrial cancer with no myometrial invasion, although there is no consensus on dosage and treatment length. Intrauterine progestin therapy has proved a valid alternative option when oral progestins are not tolerated. GnRH analogs, metformin, and hysteroscopic resection in combination with progestins appear to increase the overall efficacy of the treatment. After a complete response, conception is recommended; alternatively, maintenance therapy with strict follow-up has been proposed to decrease recurrence. The risk of disease progression is not negligible, and clinicians should not overlook the risk of hereditary forms of the disease in young patients, in particular, Lynch syndrome. Hysterectomy is performed once the desire for childbearing desire has been established. The conservative management of atypical endometrial hyperplasia and early-stage endometrial cancer is feasible, provided a strong desire for childbearing and permitting clinical-pathological conditions. However, patients must be aware of the need for a strict follow-up and the risk of progression with a possible consequent worsening of the prognosis. More homogenous and well-designed studies are necessary to standardize and identify the best treatment and follow-up protocols.

Keywords: conservative treatment; endometrial atypical hyperplasia; endometrial cancer; fertility-sparing treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conservative Treatment
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia* / drug therapy
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia* / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation* / methods
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Humans
  • Metformin*
  • Pregnancy
  • Progestins / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Progestins
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Metformin

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.