Interventions for endometriosis-related infertility: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

More randomized controlled trials are needed to clarify the relative effectiveness of treatments for endometriosis-related infertility, in particular, randomized controlled trials comparing in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination to other treatments.

Like Comment
Related Content

Volume 113, Issue 2, Pages 374–382.e2


Ruth Mary Hodgson, M.D., Hui Linn Lee, M.D., Rui Wang, M.D., Ben Williem Mol, M.D., Neil Johnson, M.D.



To compare the effectiveness of different treatments for women with endometriosis-related infertility.


A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).


Not applicable.


Women with endometriosis confirmed by laparoscopy with associated infertility.


An extensive electronic search of the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE,, and Embase.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Clinical pregnancy, live birth rate, miscarriage, and adverse events.


A total of 4,252 trials/abstracts were identified through the literature search, of which we included 36 trials in the systematic review and 26 trials reporting on 2,245 women with endometriosis-related infertility in the network meta-analysis. Network meta-analysis showed that compared with placebo, surgical laparoscopy alone (odds ratio = 1.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.13–2.35) or GnRH agonist alone (odds ratio = 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–2.46) results in higher odds of pregnancy. The evidence on the other interventions versus placebo or on the secondary outcomes including live birth, miscarriage, and adverse events is insufficient.


The most important conclusion is that more RCTs are needed to clarify the relative effectiveness of treatments for endometriosis-related infertility, ideally comparing interventions to existing recommended interventions such as surgical laparoscopy. In addition, further RCTs comparing IVF and IUI to other treatments are essential.

Read the full text here.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.