Deep pelvic endometriosis negatively affects ovarian reserve and the number of oocytes retrieved for in vitro fertilization

Enrico Papaleo, Jessica Ottolina, Paola Vigana, Claudio Brigante, Elena Marsiglio, Francesca De Michele, Massimo Candiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Endometriosis-associated infertility results in reduced ovarian response, fewer oocytes available for fertilization, compromised oocyte quality and higher miscarriage rates. A consistent proportion of women with endometriosis require in vitro fertilization. We sought to clarify the impact of deep infiltrating pelvic disease on antral follicle count and ovarian response to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulation in patients with severe endometriosis. Design. Retrospective cohort study. Setting. University hospital. Population. Patients with severe endometriosis (stages III-IV; n=51) were divided into two groups regarding localization of endometriosis during surgical staging: ovarian (n=27) and both ovarian and deep infiltrating disease (n=24). Methods. A total of 73 long-protocol ovulation induction cycles with recombinant FSH for an intracytoplasmic sperm injection program were given. On day 3 of the cycle, measurements of FSH and luteinizing hormone and an ultrasound evaluation of antral follicle count were performed. Main Outcome Measures. Number of oocytes collected at ovum pick up, number of mature oocytes, number of embryos transferred and clinical pregnancy rate. Results. Ovarian reserve in terms of antral follicle count was damaged in both groups but, if adjusted for age, it was significantly lower in the ovarian and pelvic infiltrating group compared with patients having only ovarian endometriosis. Pelvic deep infiltrating disease significantly impacted on the number of oocytes collected at pick up when adjusted for age. Conclusions. Deep infiltrating pelvic disease can negatively affect ovarian reserve in terms of antral follicle count and number of oocytes retrieved. Mechanisms underlying this phenomenon need to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-884
Number of pages7
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Antral follicle count
  • deep pelvic endometriosis
  • in vitro fertilization procedure
  • ovulation induction
  • ovum retrieval
  • severe endometriosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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