Fertility and Sterility vol:55 issue:4 pages:759-65
In a 3-year prospective study of 643 consecutive laparoscopies for infertility, pelvic pain, or infertility and pain, the pelvic area, the depth of infiltration, and the volume of endometriotic lesions were evaluated. The incidence, area, and volume of subtle lesions decreased with age, whereas for typical lesions these parameters and the depth of infiltration increased with age. Deeply infiltrating endometriosis was strongly associated with pelvic pain, women with pain having larger and deeper lesions. Because deep endometriosis has little emphasis in the revised American Fertility Society classification and after analyzing the diagnoses made in each class, considerations for a simplifying revision with inclusion of deep lesions are suggested. In conclusion, suggestive evidence is presented to support the concept that endometriosis is a progressive disorder, and it is demonstrated that deep endometriosis is strongly associated with pelvic pain.