Nearly two decades ago, Dr. Camran Nezhat sounded the alarm that endometriosis could be the hidden cause of repeat failed IVF attempts or unexplained infertility.
Back then (and like today!) , this information was not always fully disclosed and endometriosis patients were encouraged to skip straight to IVF.However, Dr. Nezhat’s research suggested that surgical removal of endometriosis (by experienced experts) improved fertility outcomes & could help patients avert the potentially devastating effect of repeat failed IVFs.
As you can see from the above 2005 article, this view was actually considered controversial back then (and still is today!).
And just like two decades ago, IVF patients are also still not always adequately informed that commonly used IVF hormones (like leuprolide acetate) could potentially worsen endometriosis significantly, including leading to rare but severe outcomes, like potentially life-threatening lung collapse (pneumothorax), bowel obstructions, & bowel perforations.
While these potentially severe adverse effects may only occur in a small percentage of patients, nevertheless Dr. Nezhat feels that information about potential risks should be made more clear.
Repeat failed IVF cycles can also be both emotionally and financially devastating, making it all the more critical to better communicate that even asymptomatic endometriosis may negatively impact fertility outcomes.
IVF has helped millions of people around the world to start families and may be the best option in many cases!
However, patients deserve to be provided with updated peer-reviewed evidence about all fertility treatment options, including potential risks, especially for those with a history of endometriosis and/or are experiencing repeat failed IVF or have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
You can ask your IVF specialist about endometriosis-specific IVF protocols that may be better suited for you.
For articles & additional information about these topics, see Dr. Nezhat’s profile or visit nezhat.org
If you’re experiencing repeat failed IVFs or have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, you may also want to download Dr. Nezhat’s free Endometriosis Risk Advisor App, to assess your risk. See his profile for the link or visit endometriosis.app.
Note: Although cases of asymptomatic endometriosis that may be impacting fertility can be difficult to diagnose clinically, Dr. Nezhat’s App still may help assess subtle clues that may indicate potential risk.