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A higher prevalence of endometriosis among Asian women does not contribute to poorer IVF outcomes



The purpose of the study was to determine whether diagnosis of endometriosis or endometriosis with endometrioma influences in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes in an ethnically diverse population.


Women undergoing a first IVF cycle (n = 717) between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, at a university-affiliated infertility clinic, were retrospectively assessed for an endometriosis diagnosis. Differences in prevalence of endometriosis by ethnicity were determined, as well as differences in IVF success by ethnicity, with a focus on country of origin for Asian women. A multivariate model was generated to assess the relative contributions of country of origin and endometriosis to chance of clinical pregnancy with IVF.


Endometriosis was diagnosed in 9.5% of participants; 3.5% also received a diagnosis of endometrioma. Endometriosis prevalence in Asian women was significantly greater than in Caucasians (15.7 vs. 5.8%, p < 0.01). Women of Filipino (p < 0.01), Indian (p < 0.01), Japanese (p < 0.01), and Korean (p < 0.05) origin specifically were more likely to have endometriosis than Caucasian women, although there was no difference in endometrioma presence by race/ethnicity. Oocyte quantity, embryo quality, and fertilization rates did not relate to endometriosis. Clinical pregnancy rates were significantly lower for Asian women, specifically in Indian (p < 0.05), Japanese (p < 0.05), and Korean (p < 0.05) women, compared to Caucasian women, even after controlling for endometriosis status.


The prevalence of endometriosis appears to be higher in Filipino, Indian, Japanese, and Korean women presenting for IVF treatment than for Caucasian women; however, the discrepancy in IVF outcomes was conditionally independent of the presence of endometriosis. Future research should focus on improving pregnancy outcomes for Asian populations whether or not they are affected by endometriosis, specifically in the form of longitudinal studies where exposures can be captured prior to endometriosis diagnoses and infertility treatment.

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The authors would like to thank the participating patients who contributed to this study. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Trimble Spitzer (University of California, San Francisco) for lending us her expertise in identifying endometriosis patients.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ayae Yamamoto.

Ethics declarations

Prior approval of the study protocol was obtained from the UCSF Committee for Human Research.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Yamamoto, A., Johnstone, E.B., Bloom, M.S. et al. A higher prevalence of endometriosis among Asian women does not contribute to poorer IVF outcomes. J Assist Reprod Genet 34, 765–774 (2017).

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  • Endometriosis
  • Endometrioma
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Race
  • Ethnicity