Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Successful treatment of asymptomatic endometriosis: does it benefit infertile women?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 02 May 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:1117
  1. E J Thomas,
  2. I D Cooke


    The relation between asymptomatic endometriosis and infertility was investigated in a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial of the impact of treating the endometriosis with gestrinone. The 12 month cumulative conception rate in those patients treated with gestrinone was 25% (5/20) and in those given placebo 24% (4/17). These same patients were divided into those in whom no visible endometriosis was present at the second laparoscopy and those in whom residual disease was present and the 12 month cumulative conception rates were 25% (4/16) and 30% (6/20) respectively. None of these rates differed significantly, and they compared with a rate of 23% (6/26) in a control group of patients with unexplained infertility. Those patients in whom the disease was eliminated did not return to normal fertility, though all other causes of infertility were excluded. This study failed to show any impact of treatment or the absence or presence of asymptomatic endometriosis on future fertility compared with patients with unexplained infertility. The findings therefore question any causal role of the disease in infertility.