In addition to an increased risk of preterm birth, the researchers also found other differences in the pregnancies of women with endometriosis. "Nearly twice as many women in this group were delivered by Caesarean section," said Dr. Falconer. "We observed that among these women the risk of induced preterm birth was higher than for spontaneous preterm birth. We believe that women with endometriosis are more frequently scheduled for preterm Caesarean section, possibly due to placental complications."
Women with endometriosis were also more likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia, a condition that develops in the second or third trimester of pregnancy and involves the development of high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Antepartal bleeding was also found to be more common among women with endometriosis, the researchers say.
"Because endometriosis is so strongly associated with infertility," said Dr. Falconer, "we were not surprised to find that women suffering from it were of higher maternal age and had fewer children. However, after adjusting for maternal age and other confounding factors, the strong association between endometriosis and risky pregnancies still remained.
"Our research provides clinicians with important information in the search for the factors associated with premature birth. Given that endometriosis is relatively common in women of childbearing age, we hope that our results will lead to pregnant women with this condition receiving extra attention, thus enabling them to have normal pregnancies and give birth to healthy babies."
|Contact: Mary Rice|
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology