Endometriosis linked to premature delivery
Endometriosis can increase the risk of premature delivery in the women who have undergone assisted reproduction procedures. This is based on results of a study conducted by Australian researchers which looked at more than 6000 births.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where the endometrium (lining of the uterus) is found outside the uterus itself and extends into the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the pelvis lining. The cause of this disorder is not clear and it often goes undiagnosed during normal gynaecological check up. It is estimated to occur in about 1 out of every 10 females of childbearing age. Up to 44% of women with endometriosis do not show any symptoms. A friend of mine had 3 miscarriages before she was diagnosed with endometriosis.
Although the condition has always been suspected to cause pregnancy complications, this is the first large scale study to show a clear link between endometriosis and premature births.
Ovarian endometriosis can be detected by laparoscopy or ultrasound but many cases are only detected during prenatal check ups. The findings can have the following consequences:
- Women should be screened for endometriosis before undergoing assisted reproduction procedures.
- Corrective surgery of endometriosis should be considered for women who are considering reproductive procedures.
- Women with endometriosis should be closely monitored during pregnancy to reduce risks of premature delivery.