Ovarian endometriomas and oocyte quality insights from in vitro fertilization cycles

In women with unilateral unoperated endometriomas undergoing IVF, ovarian responsiveness and oocyte developmental competence did not differ between the affected and intact gonads.

Francesca Filippi, M.D., Laura Benaglia, M.D., Alessio Paffoni, M.Sc., Liliana Restelli, D.Sc., Paolo Vercellini, M.D., Edgardo Somigliana, M.D., Ph.D., Luigi Fedele, M.D.

Volume 101, Issue 4, Pages 988-993.e1


To evaluate whether the presence of endometriomas affects ovarian function.

Prospective cohort study.

Infertility unit of an academic setting.

Twenty-nine women undergoing an IVF cycle.

Prospective evaluation of women with unoperated unilateral endometriomas undergoing IVF. The affected and contralateral intact gonads were compared in terms of responsiveness and oocyte quality.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Oocyte developmental competence.

Ovarian responsiveness and oocyte quality did not significantly differ between the affected and intact gonads. The number of codominant follicles, the number of oocytes retrieved, and the number of suitable oocytes in affected and intact gonads were 3.7 ± 2.4 and 4.1 ± 1.7, 4.2 ± 3.1 and 4.7 ± 2.5, and 3.1 ± 2.6 and 3.5 ± 2.3, respectively. The number of viable embryos and the number of high-quality embryos were 1.8 ± 2.1 and 1.8 ± 1.4 and 1.0 ± 1.7 and 0.8 ± 0.7, respectively. The fertilization rate in the affected and intact gonads was 64% and 64%, respectively. The cleavage rate was 58% and 51%, respectively. The rate of high-quality embryos was 31% and 21%, respectively.

In women undergoing IVF, the presence of ovarian endometriomas does not affect oocyte developmental competence.

  • Amanda N. Kallen

    The authors have prevented a well designed and intriguing study suggesting that presence of endometrioma does not affect oocyte quality in IVF cycles. This data will be helpful in counseling patients and making IVF stimulation decisions. Interestingly, I noticed that the proportion of cleaved and high quality embryos was slightly lower in the “unaffected” ovary (although as you point out this is not statistically significant). Do the authors have any thoughts as to why this might be observed?

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