Early Pregnancy Outcomes in Fresh Versus Deferred Embryo Transfer Cycles for Endometriosis-Associated Infertility: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Tan, J, Cerrillo, M, Cruz, M, Cecchino, G N, Garcia-Velasco, J A,
J Clin Med. Jan. 2021 doi: 10.3390/jcm10020344


Given the estrogen-dependence associated with endometriosis, hyper-stimulation associated with assisted reproduction treatment may exacerbate the disease process and adversely affect endometrial receptivity and subsequent implantation. In this way, a freeze-all deferred embryo transfer (ET) approach may benefit patients with endometriosis, although controversy exists regarding the mechanism of endometriosis-associated infertility and benefits of deferred ET on endometrial receptivity. Hence, the purpose of this study was to compare in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes in women with endometriosis, diagnosed by histology, undergoing fresh versus deferred-ET after elective cryopreservation. Of the 728 women included, no significant differences were observed in baseline patient characteristics and response to gonadotrophin stimulation between fresh and deferred ET groups. Furthermore, no significant differences in implantation rate (49.7 vs. 49.9%, p = 0.73), clinical pregnancy rate (40.9 vs. 39.9%, p = 0.49), and miscarriage rate (9.4 vs. 9.9%, p = 0.63) were observed between fresh and deferred ET groups, respectively. Hence, contrary to previous studies, our results suggest that a deferred ET "freeze-all" IVF strategy does not improve early pregnancy outcomes among women with endometriosis. However, prospective studies are required to validate these findings and further insight into the etiology and pathogenesis of endometriosis-associated infertility are necessary to optimize IVF protocols in this population.