Women's Reproductive History Before the Diagnosis of Incident Endometriosis

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BACKGROUND: Endometriosis is a gynecologic disease reported to be associated with infertility and, possibly, adverse pregnancy outcomes. While considerable research focuses on pregnancy outcomes following diagnosis and/or treatment, few data actually describe women's reproductive history before diagnosis for a more complete understanding of endometriosis and reproduction. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study sample comprised 473 women (aged 18-44 years) undergoing laparoscopies or laparotomies, irrespective of surgical indication at 14 clinical sites, during the period 2007-2009. Upon enrollment and before surgery, women were queried about pregnancy intentions and the time required to become pregnant for planned pregnancies. Endometriosis was defined as surgically visualized disease. Using discrete time survival analysis, we estimated fecundability odds ratios (FORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess time to pregnancy (TTP) after adjusting for potential confounders (age, body composition, cigarette smoking, site). Generalized estimating equations accounted for multiple pregnancy attempts per woman. FORs <1.0 denote a longer TTP or diminished fecundity. RESULTS: Approximately 66% and 69% of women with and without endometriosis, respectively, reported having a planned pregnancy before surgery, respectively. After adjustment, an endometriosis diagnosis was associated with ≈29% reduction in fecundity or a longer TTP across all pregnancy-trying attempts (adjusted FOR = 0.71; 95% CI 0.46-1.10). While FORs were consistently <1.0, irrespective of endometriosis staging, CIs included 1. CONCLUSIONS: Women with endometriosis had a longer TTP than unaffected women, irrespective of disease severity, although the findings did not achieve significance. Prior reproductive history may be informative for predicting fecundity and pregnancy outcomes following diagnosis/treatment.

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Journal of Women's Health



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