Rising endometriosis rates linked to increased pregnancy complications


A new study presented at the 2024 ACOG meeting reveals a significant rise in endometriosis among pregnant women over the past 20 years, linking the condition to increased obstetric and neonatal complications.

Rising endometriosis rates linked to increased pregnancy complications| Image Credit: © pressmaster - stock.adobe.com

Rising endometriosis rates linked to increased pregnancy complications| Image Credit: © pressmaster - stock.adobe.com

A new study presented at the 2024 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Clinical and Scientific Meeting reveals a concerning rise in endometriosis prevalence among pregnant women over the past 2 decades.1

Endometriosis, which affects approximately 10% of reproductive-aged women, has been associated with various health complications.1

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some of these health complications include:2

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Infertility
  • Debilitating pain
  • Painful sex

“Addressing endometriosis will empower those affected by it by supporting their human right to the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, quality of life and overall well-being,” according to WHO.2

The retrospective cohort study presented at ACOG, using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) database, provides an in-depth analysis of the condition’s prevalence and its implications during pregnancy.

The study analyzed data from 16,911,497 births without endometriosis and 14,956 births to women diagnosed with the condition between 1999 and 2019.

The findings indicate a significant increase in endometriosis diagnoses among pregnant women, from 34.9 to 160.6 per 100,000 births over the 20-year period.

Women with endometriosis exhibited distinctive demographic traits: they were more likely to be of advanced maternal age, predominantly Caucasian, from higher income brackets, obese, smokers, and covered by private insurance.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • Women with endometriosis faced higher risks of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and postpartum hemorrhage.
  • Infants born to mothers with endometriosis were more likely to suffer from growth restrictions and congenital anomalies.

“The study highlights the evolving prevalence of endometriosis among pregnant women and establishes a strong connection between endometriosis and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes,” the authors wrote.

They concluded, “These findings emphasize the importance of vigilant monitoring to enhance obstetrical and fetal outcomes in pregnant women with endometriosis.”

  1. Abdessamie S, Czuzoj-Shulman N, Abenhaim HA. Maternal and Fetal Outcomes Among Pregnant Women With Endometriosis. Presented at: ACOG 2024 Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting; May 17-19, 2024; San Francisco, California.
  2. Endometriosis. World Health Organization. Accessed May 17, 2024. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis
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