Fertility preservation in women with endometriosis: For all, for some, for none?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The increasing confidence with the techniques of oocyte and ovarian cortex freezing has prompted their potential use for patient categories other than those at risk of early menopause due to cancer treatments. Women affected by every iatrogenic or pathologic condition known to compromise ovarian function severely have been considered as potential candidates for fertility preservation. Among them, women with endometriosis may represent a particularly suitable group since they are at increased risk of premature ovarian exhaustion and about half of them will experience infertility. Based on the currently available notions on the intricate relationships between endometriosis, infertility and damage to the ovarian reserve, we speculate that fertility preservation may be of interest for women with endometriosis, in particular for those with bilateral unoperated endometriomas and for those who previously had excision of unilateral endometriomas and require surgery for a contralateral recurrence. Young age at diagnosis may be an independent but pivotal additional factor to be taken into consideration in the balance of the pros and cons of fertility preservation. On the other hand, we argue against the introduction of fertility preservation for endometriosis in routine clinical practice. To date, only few cases have been reported and there are insufficient data for robust cost-utility analyses. It is noteworthy that endometriosis is a relatively common disease and systematically including affected women in a fertility preservation program would have profound clinical, logistic and financial effects. More clinical data and in-depth economic analysis are imperative prior to recommending its routine use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1280-1286
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 18 2015


  • endometrioma
  • endometriosis
  • fertility preservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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