Amsterdam, The Netherlands: The largest study to date of endometriosis in pregnant women has found that the condition is a major risk factor for premature birth, the 25th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today (Wednesday July 1). Dr. Henrik Falconer, of the Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, said that his team had found that women with endometriosis also had a higher risk of other pregnancy complications, as well as being more likely to give birth through Caesarean section. The research is published on-line in the journal Human Reproduction today*.
The researchers investigated the association between adverse pregnancy outcome, assisted reproduction technology (ART), and a previous diagnosis of endometriosis in 1 442 675 single births to Swedish women. They found 13 090 births among 8922 women diagnosed with endometriosis. Compared with women without endometriosis, they had a 1.33 greater risk of preterm birth. Women with endometriosis were also more likely to have difficulty in conceiving and need to receive ART, which is itself a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome.
Among women with endometriosis, 11.9% conceived after ART compared with the 1.4% of women without endometriosis who used the technique. The risk of preterm birth associated with endometriosis among women with ART was 1.24, and among women without ART 1.37.
"Endometriosis appears to be a risk factor for preterm birth, irrespective of ART," said Dr. Falconer. "Our findings indicate that women with endometriosis may be considered a high risk group and have special care during pregnancy."
Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease, affecting up to 15% of all women of reproductive age, in which the endometrial cells that line the uterus are deposited in other areas.
Such displacement of endometrial cells can lead to anatomical distortion and
|Contact: Mary Rice|
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology