Endometriosis and adverse pregnancy outcome

Felice Sorrentino, Maristella Depadova, Maddalena Falagario, Maurizio N. D'Alterio, Attilio Dispiezio Sardo, Luis A. Pacheco, Jose T. Carugno, Luigi Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Endometriosis is a gynecologic disease affecting approximately 10% of reproductive age women, around 21-47% of women presenting subfertility and 71-87% of women with chronic pelvic pain. Main symptoms are chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia and infertility that seem to be well controlled by oral contraceptive pill, progestogens, GnRh antagonists. The aim of this review was to illustrate the modern diagnosis of endometriosis during pregnancy, to evaluate the evolution of endometriotic lesions during pregnancy and the incidence of adverse outcomes. EVIDENCEACQUISITION: Published literature was retrieved through searches of the database PubMed (National Center for Biotechnology Information, USNational Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, USA). We searched for all original articles published in English through April 2020 and decided to extract every notable information for potential inclusion in this review. The search included the following MeSH search terms, alone or in combination: “endometriosis” combined with “endometrioma,” “biomarkers,” “complications,” “bowel,” “urinary tract,” “uterine rupture,” “spontaneous hemoperitoneum in pregnancy” and more “adverse pregnancy outcome,” “preterm birth,” “miscarriage,” “abruption placentae,” “placenta previa,” “hypertensive disorder,” “preeclampsia,” “fetal grow restriction,” “small for gestation age,” “cesarean delivery.” EVIDENCESYNTHESIS: Pregnancy in women with endometriosis does not always lead to disappearance of symptoms and decrease in the size of endometriotic lesions, but it may be possible to observe a malignant transformation of ovarian endometriotic lesions. Onset of complications may be caused by many factors: chronic inflammation, adhesions, progesterone resistance and a dysregulation of genes involved in the embryo implantation. As results, the pregnancy can be more difficult because of endometriosis related complications (spontaneous hemoperitoneum [SH], bowel complications, etc.) or adverse outcomes like preterm birth, FGR, hypertensive disorders, obstetrics hemorrhages (placenta previa, abruptio placenta), miscarriage or cesarean section. Due to insufficient knowledge about its pathogenesis, currently literature data are contradictory and do not show a strong correlation between endometriosis and these complications except for miscarriage and cesarean delivery, CONCLUSIONS: Future research should focus on the potential biological pathways underlying these relationships in order to inform patients planning a birth about possible complications during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalMinerva Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion, spontaneous
  • Cesarean section
  • Endometriosis
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Medicine(all)


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