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The Enigma of Endometriosis and Fertility

Is oocyte quality affected by endometriosis?

Endometriosis is one of the most common diseases found in reproductive women, with a significant impact on quality of life as well as fertility. For a long time, we are not entirely certain if oocyte quality is affected by endometriosis. In one of the reviews of literature published in 2017 in the general ovarian research, the effect of endometriosis was discussed. It is known that endometriosis causes distortion of the pelvis and also may release inflammatory markers (cytokines). It’s also known that it may impair endometrial receptivity.

The impact of endometriosis could be on mitochondrial content (the battery of the cell), show granulation, which is the breakdown of cytoplasm, measure spindle abnormalities in the cell and also may harden the zona, the outer shell of the cell. It is known that women with endometriosis have an imbalance in oestrogen, seen in IVF. They have lower levels of oestrogen during the IVF cycle, and it seems that the progesterone requirements are also altered in an IVF cycle.


Endometriosis and markers of egg quality

It is known that in women with endometriosis the eggs obtained have a hardening of the outer shell. There seem to be more immature than mature eggs, and also the spindle which is required to maintain the apparatus of the oocyte also seems to be altered in some cases of endometriosis. Mitochondria which are the batteries of the cell seem to be lower in endometriosis. In simple terms, is oocyte quality in endometriosis affected? Yes, there is a seven per cent more reduction in fertilisation, we get fewer eggs, fewer oocytes and less fertilisation.


Can we change oocyte quality?

The answer is no. Surgical intervention seems to have a negative impact on the ovary. Three to six months of long down regulation was suggested to improve pregnancy rates, but this has not been proved. There is some evidence that ICSI, rather than IVF, must be done to improve chances of fertilisation.
































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