Endometriosis in women undergoing ovarian tissue transplantation due to premature menopause after gonadotoxic treatment or spontaneous premature ovarian failure

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Lotz, Laura
Dietl, Anna
Hoffmann, Inge
Müller, Anrdreas
Burghaus, Stefanie
Beckmann, Matthias Wilhelm
Dittrich, Ralf


Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue with subsequent transplantation is an efficient option for restoring fertility in women at risk of premature ovarian failure. The association between infertility and endometriosis is well recognized. Although endometriosis usually ends with the onset of natural or iatrogen menopause due to declining estrogen levels, endometriosis can in rare cases occur after menopause. This study aims to investigate women with premature menopause who were diagnosed with endometriosis during laparoscopy for ovarian tissue transplantation, and to address the questions of how endometriotic lesions after cytotoxic treatment and premature menopause might be explained, whether endometriosis affects pregnancy rates, and whether there is an association between endometriosis and the original cancer. Material and Methods

Seventeen patients who had undergone ovarian tissue transplantation to restore their fertility and who were diagnosed with endometriosis during transplantation were included in this retrospective study. The endometriosis foci were completely removed and ovarian tissue was transplanted into the pelvic peritoneum. Preexisting conditions, use of hormonal preparations, endometriosis stage pain assessment, as well as pregnancy and live birth rate were evaluated. Results

The mean age of the patients was 29.5 ± 6.3 years (range 14–39) at the time of ovarian tissue harvest and 34.6 ± 4.3 years (range 28–40) at transplantation. Prior to transplantation, four patients had taken hormone replacement therapy, four women oral contraceptives and two patients’ tamoxifen. Twelve women had stage I endometriosis and five stage II endometrioses according to the rASRM classification. Four patients reported dysmenorrhea. None of the women complained of general pelvic pain or dyspareunia. The pregnancy rate in the study population was 41.2%, with a live birth rate of 35.3%. The pregnancies occurred in three cases after spontaneous conception, in four women after a natural cycle IVF/ICSI. Conclusions

This study highlights the under-researched association between endometriosis in women entering premature or early menopause either after gonadotoxic treatment or due to primary ovarian insufficiency. As more and more patients seek to have their cryopreserved ovarian tissue transplanted to fulfill their desire to have children, specialists will inevitably encounter women with this condition.

Journal Title
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 101.7 (2022): S. 771-778. <https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/aogs.14374>
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