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Minerva Ginecologica 2016 December;68(6):642-52


lingua: Inglese

Finding the balance between surgery and medically-assisted reproduction in women with deep infiltrating endometriosis

Jonathan COHEN 1, 2, Marcos BALLESTER 1, 2, Lise SELLERET 1, Emmanuelle MATHIEU D’ARGENT 1, Jean M. ANTOINE 1, Nathalie CHABBERT-BUFFET 1, 2, Emile DARAI 1, 2

1 Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Reproductive Medicine, Tenon Hospital, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris, Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 University, GRC6-UPMC – Specialized Center for Endometriosis (C3E), Paris, France; 2 INSERM Research Unit S938, Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 University, Paris, France


Deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) affects several anatomical locations including the bladder, torus uterinum, uterosacral ligament, rectovaginal septum and bowel. It is the most debilitating form of endometriosis and causes severe pain, digestive and urinary symptoms as well as infertility. Faced with an infertile woman suffering from DIE, the dilemma is whether to opt for first-line IVF treatment or for surgery. In the absence of high-level of evidence from randomized studies, several factors should be taken into account in the decision-making process. The main criterion is whether the patient wants in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment or not. Secondly, while previous reports have demonstrated the positive impact of surgery on pregnancy, they also underline the risk of severe complications requiring management in expert centers. Despite the availability of predictive models or scoring systems, the decision mainly boils down to the couple’s characteristics. It seems logical to propose first-line IVF when spontaneous fertility is not possible due to associated male infertility or tubal obstruction; for women aged ≥35 years; or in women with diminished ovarian reserve. Conversely, first-line surgery could be the best option for women without these characteristics. However, this strategy is mainly based on low-level of evidence underlining the requiring of randomized trials.

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