Interplay between Endometriosis and Pregnancy in a Mouse Model
BACKGROUND Deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE) is associated with severe painful symptoms and represents a complex management challenge. OBJECTIVE To analyse the effect of pregnancy on deep infiltrating lesions and related symptomatology. STUDY DESIGN As part of a longitudinal study performed over the past 3 years to determine the efficacy of hormonal treatment in treating women with DIE, we identified three cases of advanced pelvic endometriosis, all with DIE (deep recto-vaginal and recto-sigmoid involvement) where patients achieved spontaneous pregnancies. They were followed up by transvaginal ultrasound (TV-US). The main outcome measures were analysis of the size and echographic pattern of deep infiltrating lesions of endometriosis and evaluation of clinical symptoms during pregnancy. RESULTS We observed modifications in lesion size and pattern. In the two patients observed in the third trimester, the lesions were more homogeneous with less evident limits of nodules and band-like echoes, less fibrotic-like. All patients showed complete resolution of symptoms during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS The hormonal environment produced by pregnancy might determine significant modifications of endometriotic lesions and reduce painful symptoms. As surgery for DIE is difficult, complex and can lead to major complications, the achievement of a pregnancy-specific hormonal state, through pregnancy or hormonal treatment, may be a valid option in selected cases.