Endometriosis, defined as the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, is a challenging condition associated with substantial morbidity. Management of endometriosis must be individualized according to the desired treatment outcome, whether it is relief of pain, improvement of fertility, or the prevention of recurrence. For alleviation of endometriosis-associated pain, medical treatment is generally successful, with no medical agent being more efficacious than another in spite of significantly differing side-effect profiles. Surgical therapy has also been demonstrated to reduce pain scores in comparison with expectant management, although conservative surgery has been frequently associated with recurrence. The efficacy of combination therapies still remains to be clarified. For treatment of endometriosis-associated infertility, suppressive medical treatment has been proven to be detrimental to fertility and should be discouraged, while surgery is probably efficacious for all stages. Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with intrauterine insemination is recommended in early-stage and surgically corrected endometriosis. Combined surgery with GnRH analog treatment has been proposed to be first-line therapy, followed by IVF as second-line therapy in advanced cases. More rigorously designed randomized clinical trials focusing on the endocrinological, immunological, and genetic aspects of endometriosis are necessary to refine conclusions regarding the etiopathogenesis and therapeutic innovations of this perplexing disease.

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