Can endometriosis cause miscarriage

Can endometriosis cause miscarriage? Understanding Endometriosis and Its Impact on Miscarriage

Endometriosis is a prevalent health condition, affecting approximately 10% of women worldwide. It is often associated with chronic pain and infertility, but its potential connection to miscarriage is not as widely recognized. This article aims to shed light on the link between endometriosis and miscarriage, drawing on recent scientific research and expert insights.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, known as endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the lining of the pelvic cavity. Just as the inner lining of the uterus thickens, breaks down, and bleeds with each menstrual cycle, so too does the endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. However, this displaced tissue has no way to exit the body, leading to various problems.

Read More: What causes endometriosis?

Pathogenesis of Endometriosis

Endometriosis develops in stages, with severity ranging from minimal to severe. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine groups endometriosis into four stages: minimal (Stage I), mild (Stage II), moderate (Stage III), and severe (Stage IV). The stages reflect the extent, location, and depth of endometrial-like tissue growth, as well as the presence and severity of adhesions and the presence and size of ovarian endometriomas.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

While some women with endometriosis may have no symptoms, others may experience:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Other signs and symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea

Read more: 20 Signs and Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis and Pregnancy Complications

Endometriosis has long been associated with infertility, with studies indicating that up to 50% of women with infertility have the condition. However, less is known about its impact on women who do conceive. Emerging research suggests that endometriosis may increase the risk of several pregnancy complications, including preterm birth, cesarean delivery, and miscarriage.

Read More: How Does Endometriosis Cause Infertility? 

Endometriosis and Miscarriage: Understanding the Connection

Recent research has begun to explore the potential link between endometriosis and miscarriage. Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion, is defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. It is estimated that about 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. The actual number is likely higher, as many miscarriages happen so early in pregnancy that a woman might not even know she’s pregnant.

The Role of Inflammation

One theory proposes that the inflammation associated with endometriosis could interfere with the early stages of pregnancy. Endometriosis is characterized by chronic pelvic inflammation, which could potentially disrupt the implantation of the embryo or the development of the placenta.

The Impact of Surgical Treatment

Another factor to consider is the potential impact of surgical treatment for endometriosis. There have only been a few clinical trials and they do not indicate that surgical excision reduces the risk of miscarriage.  However, there are two very large databases from Sweden and Scotland that suggest a benefit to removing known endometriosis to lower pregnancy loss risk.  More research is required. 

Hormonal Factors

Endometriosis can alter the hormonal environment of the uterus, which could potentially impact early pregnancy. More research is needed to fully understand how these hormonal changes might contribute to miscarriage risk.

Research Insights: Endometriosis and Miscarriage Risk

Several studies have investigated the link between endometriosis and miscarriage. A meta-analysis published in 2020 in the journal BioMed Research International found that women with endometriosis had a significantly higher risk of miscarriage compared to women without the condition. This risk was particularly pronounced in women who conceived naturally, rather than those with tubal infertility who conceived through assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Coping with Endometriosis and Miscarriage

The potential link between endometriosis and miscarriage can come as distressing news. However, it’s important to remember that many women with endometriosis have successful pregnancies.  So, counseling and intervention really depend on the individual situation. With repeat losses, there are many potential reasons but it appears that endo can be one of them.  

Read more: Find an Endometriosis Specialist for Diagnosis, Treatment, & Surgery.


Endometriosis is a complex condition that can impact various aspects of a woman’s health, including her fertility and pregnancy outcomes. While research suggests a potential link between endometriosis and miscarriage, many women with the condition have successful pregnancies. If you have endometriosis or suspect you have endo, and having difficulty conceiving or experiencing pregnancy losses,  it’s crucial to seek consultation with an endometriosis specialist.   


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