Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent inflammatory disease that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age and accounts for up to 50% of female infertility cases. It has been highly associated with poorer outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART), including decreased oocyte retrieval, lower implantation, and pregnancy rates. A better understanding of the pathogenesis of endometriosis-associated infertility is crucial for improving infertility treatment outcomes. Current theories regarding how endometriosis reduces fertility include anatomical distortion, ovulatory dysfunction, and niche inflammation-associated peritoneal or implantation defects. This review will survey the latest evidence on the role of inflammatory niche in the peritoneal cavity, ovaries, and uterus of endometriosis patients. Nonhormone treatment strategies that target these inflammation processes are also included. Furthermore, mesenchymal stem cell-based therapies are highlighted for potential endometriosis treatment because of their immunomodulatory effects and tropism toward inflamed lesion foci. Potential applications of stem cell therapy in treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility in particular for safety and efficacy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2385
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 13 2018


  • Endometriosis
  • Immunomodulation
  • Infertility
  • Inflammation
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Niche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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