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Although endometriosis and infertility are clearly linked—in life as well as the medical literature—no causal relationship has been established. Nevertheless, data suggest that 25% to 50% of infertile women have endometriosis, and that as many as 30% to 50% of women who have endometriosis are infertile.1

Among the mechanisms that have been proposed to explain this link are:

  • distorted pelvic anatomy
  • endocrine and ovulatory abnormalities
  • impaired implantation
  • impaired quality of the oocyte and embryo
  • altered peritoneal function
  • altered hormonal and cell-mediated function
  • abnormal uterotubal transport.2

Recent studies by Kao and colleagues and Giudice and colleagues have led to new findings in regard to endometriosis and infertility, says Ceana Nezhat, MD.3,4 Dr. ­Nezhat is Director of the Nezhat Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and Medical Director of Training and Education at ­Northside ­Hospital in Atlanta. “These researchers have discovered that endometriosis causes changes to the endometrium that contribute to infertility.”