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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 340-344

Histomorphological study of endometrium in primary infertility in Rural setup


Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission31-Dec-2018
Date of Decision28-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Dec-2020
Date of Web Publication18-Oct-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Laxmi Agrawal
Department of Pathology, DMIMS, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_72_18

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  Abstract 


Background: In our society, females are blamed for infertility. Females especially in rural places face many problems socially and emotionally. Infertility is an obstacle in the development of couple when it does not take place normally. Infertility is a curse for women, the cause of which should be diagnosed accurately and early. Taking the abovemaintained silent plight of infertile females, this study was conducted based on uterine infertility as a step to increase understanding of pathological causes of primary infertility and serve community on the whole. Aim: This study aims to study histomorphological features of endometrium in primary infertility to know the etiological factors in a rural setup. Objectives: (1) To find various histomorphological patterns of endometrium in primary infertility. (2) To categorize the various etiologic causes under the following heads: (i) Hormonal cause. (ii) Infectious cause. (3) To find the principle cause for primary infertility in the ruler setup. (4) To know the importance of endometrial biopsy/dilatation and curettage (D and C) in primary infertility. Materials and Methods: A total of 99 endometrial sample of primary infertility were received from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of confirmed case of primary infertility. The endometrial biopsy or D and C were send in 10% formalin to department of pathology. The samples were processed, stained with hematoxylin and eosin and were studied and categorized into normal proliferative phase, inadequate proliferative phase, anovulatory phase, normal secretory phase, inadequate secretory phase/luteal phase defect (LPD), glandulostromal disparity (GSD), acute endometritis, chronic nonspecific endometritis, and tubercular endometritis. Observation and Results: It was observed that 42.42% patients had normal secretory phase or normal proliferative phase, i.e., it correlates with day of menses. The most common etiological cause for primary infertility was anovulation which was 28.28%. The second most common was LPD/inadequate secretory phase which was 15.15%. Inadequate proliferative phase was 8.08%. GSD was 3.03%. Endometrial hyperplasia was 4.04% among which 3.03% patients had simple hyperplasia without atypia and 1.01% patient had atypical complex hyperplasia. In infections, tubercular endometritis was 2.02% and chronic nonspecific endometritis was 1.01%. In the present study, anovulation was the principle cause of female primary infertility. There were 51.51% patients of primary infertility with hormonal cause and 3.03% patient with infective cause. Conclusion: Anovulation was the principle cause of female primary infertility and LPD was the second common cause of female primary infertility. In infections, tubercular endometritis was common whereas chronic nonspecific endometritis was less. Endometrial biopsy/D and C is a standard tool to know causes of primary infertility, which gives information at cellular level and detects hormonal causes, infective causes for infertility. Thus, by endometrial biopsy/D and C, we come to know the probable cause of female primary infertility, and accordingly, the treatment can be given to patient.

Keywords: Anovulatory cycle, endometrial biopsy and dilatation and curettage, endometritis, infertility, luteal phase defect


How to cite this article:
Agrawal L, Hiwale K, Bhake A. Histomorphological study of endometrium in primary infertility in Rural setup. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2021;16:340-4

How to cite this URL:
Agrawal L, Hiwale K, Bhake A. Histomorphological study of endometrium in primary infertility in Rural setup. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 4];16:340-4. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2021/16/2/340/328477




  Introduction Top


Every women wish to become a mother, failure of which not only causes distress to the women but also to her entire family. The barren marriage is a problem as old in the history of mankind . For continuation and growth of species, reproduction is important and is a basic expectation of life. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 8%–10% of couple experience some form of infertility diagnosed as, inadequate proliferative phase, anovulatory, disorders, luteal phase defect (LPD), hyperplasia, abnormal semen parameter, tubal defect, endometriosis, and unexplained infertility.[1]

WHO estimates that worldwide, 60–80 million couples are currently suffering from infertility.[2] According to WHO, infertility has been defined as a disease of reproductive system causing failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse.[3] In India, as per District Level Health Survey-3, female factor causes 8.2% of infertility in married women of age 15–49 years.[4] According to WHO, one in every four eligible couples in developing countries are affected by infertility by the Demographic and Health Survey conducted from 1990 to 2004.[2] Endometrial biopsy is one of the oldest and the most important tools in investigation of infertile female. The endometrial biopsy and endometrial histology is considered as the most sensitive indicator of ovarian function. Endometrial biopsy with routine hematoxylin and eosin (H and E) staining is a very important investigation as endometrial biopsy can be practiced in developing countries like India, where complex expensive immunological and hormonal assay procedures are not easily available in rural setup and are also not affordable.[5] The premenstrual endometrial biopsy is useful in identifying anovulatory cycles, phase defects, and infection, especially tuberculosis and also in confirming ovulation.[5]

Almost all functional disturbances involved in infertility result in morphological changes in the endometrium since hormone levels fluctuate depending upon various biorhythms. The histological examination of the endometrial biopsy is the most reliable parameter for evaluating the cause of infertility.[6] This emphasizes the need to study the endometrial biopsy in primary infertility.

Aim

This study aims to study histomorphological features of endometrium in primary infertility to know the etiological factors in a rural setup.

Objectives

  1. To find various histomorphological patterns of endometrium in primary infertility
  2. To categorize the various etiologic causes under the following heads.


    1. Hormonal cause
    2. Infectious cause.


  3. To find the principle cause for primary infertility in the ruler setup
  4. To know the importance of endometrial biopsy/dilatation and curettage (D and C) in primary infertility.



  Materials and Methods Top


Material

This study was conducted at Acharya Vinoba Bhave Rural Hospital (AVBRH), a tertiary care hospital attached to JNMC, Wardha in Central India for a period of 2 years (September 2016 to August 2018). A total of 99 samples of endometrial tissue from confirmed cases of primary infertility attending an infertility clinic in Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, AVBRH were examined microscopically. Patients details such as marital history, menstrual history, clinical complaints, period of infertility, obstetric history, and investigation were recorded. The endometrial tissue was obtained by D/C and biopsy procedure for the study by the gynecologist and was send to department of pathology in 10% formalin. Samples were kept for 24 h in 10% formalin; then, tissue processing was done. The section were cut 5 micron in thickness, stained with H and E and examined under microscope.

Inclusion criteria

  1. Females who were unable to conceive after 1 year of regular unprotected intercourse.


Exclusion criteria

  1. Male factors responsible for infertility
  2. Female has gone abortion before.


Methods

Endometrial biopsy analysis

The endometrial biopsy stained with H and E was studied under microscope for morphology of endometrial glands, stroma, and infiltration by inflammatory cells. Dating of endometrium was done according to criteria suggested by Dallenbach-Hellweg.[7] The reporting was done in light of clinical details. They were divided as follows:

  1. Proliferative phase:


    • Normal proliferative[8] phase – Endometrial glands in early, mid, and late proliferative phase and biopsy done in early, mid, and late proliferative phase, respectively
    • Inadequate proliferative phase – Endometrial glands are comparable to those in early or midproliferative phase were found while the biopsy was done in late proliferative phase or secretory phase
    • Proliferative (anovulatory) phase – Endometrial glands are comparable to those in late proliferative phase while the biopsy was done in secretory phase
    • Hyperplasia – Simple hyperplasia and complex hyperplasia with and without atypia.


  2. Secretory phase:[8]


    • Normal secretory phase – Dates were matched with the menstrual cycle ± 2 days
    • Inadequate secretory phase/LPD – Secretory changes lagging behind by 2 or more days of the menstrual cycle
    • Secretory changes with glandulostromal disparity (GSD) – glandular and stromal changes are discordant


  3. Infective cause:[8]


    • Acute endometritis
    • Chronic nonspecific endometritis
    • Tubercular endometritis.


Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis was done by–descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation (SD) using software SPSS 22.0 version (IBM, Chicago, Illinois, USA).


  Observation and Results Top


During the period of 2 years from September 2016 to August 2018, a total 99 cases of primary infertility were collected. Endometrial samples were received in Department of Pathology JNMC, Sawangi, Wardha for histopathological evaluation with detailed history of patients. The features observed in these endometrial samples (D and C/biopsy) were as follows:

The age of patient presented with primary infertility ranged from 21 to 42 years. Youngest patient was of age 21 years and oldest patient was of age 42 years with mean ± SD of 29.94 ± 4.75 years. 20 patients (20.20%) belong to the age group of 21–25 years, 40 patients (40.40%) were in the age group of 26–30 years, 26 patients (26.26%) were in the age group of 31–35 years, 12 patients (12.12%) are in the age group of 36–40 years, and 1 patient (1.01%) was in the age group of 41–45.

It was observed that duration of infertility varied from 2 to 8 years with mean ± SD of 4.12 ± 1.57. 40 patients (40.40%) presented within 1–3 years of period, 37 (37.37%) patients presented in 4–5 years period, 20 patients (20.20%) presented in 6–7 years, while 2 (2.02%) patients had infertility of 8 years.

Endometrial histomorphological patterns

Endometrial morphological changes were divided into normal proliferative phase, anovulatory, hyperplasia, ovulatory phase, and infective.

In total 99 patients, 3 (3.03%) patients were in normal proliferative phase. Anovulatory was observed in 32 patients, of which 8 (8.08%) patients were in inadequate proliferative phase and 24 (24.24%) patients were in proliferative-anovulatory phase. There were 4 (4.04%) patients of endometrial hyperplasia, of which 3 (3.03%) patients were of simple hyperplasia without atypia and 1 (1.01%) patients of complex hyperplasia with atypia. In ovulatory, 39 (39.39%) patients were in normal secretory phase, 15 (15.15%) patients show inadequate secretory phase/LPD, and 3 (3.03%) patients show GSD. In the present study, 3 (3.03%) patients of infective/endometritis were present, of which 1 (1.01%) patient was of chronic nonspecific endometritis and 2 (2.02%) patients were of tubercular endometritis, as shown in [Table 1].
Table 1: Endometrial histomorphological patterns in patients

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Of total 54 (54.54%) patients of abnormal endometrial finding for primary infertility, 51 patients (94.44%) had hormonal etiology and three patients (5.56%) had infective etiology as shown in [Table 2].
Table 2: Distribution of patients according to etiology

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  Discussion Top


Primary infertility is one of the common conditions for which married women visit gynecologist. The endometrial causes of infertility are various like hormonal, infective, neoplastic, and obstructive.

Age of presentation

Age of the female partner has got direct relationship with her reproductive capacity. Fecundability decreases with increasing age. In present study, the age of patient presented with primary infertility ranged from 21 to 42 years with mean ± SD of 29.94 ± 4.75. Maximum 40 (40.40%) patients were in the age group of 26–30 years followed by 26 (26.26%) patients in age group of 31–35 years. The findings of the present study were comparable to the following studies - Lim et al.[9] - 68.3%, Achalkar[10] - 81%, and Kafeel et al.[11] - 46.6%.

Thus, most patients had come within the maximum fertility time.

Duration of infertility

In the present study, duration of infertility ranged from 2 to 8 years with mean ± SD of 4.12 ± 1.57 years. Most of the patients, i.e. 40.40% came within 1–3 years of infertility.

The findings of the present study were similar to the following studies: Girish et al.[12] - 47.3% and V. Sharma et al.[13] - 40%.

Thus, maximum patients presented to infertility clinic in time but still large group presented late, and therefore, there is need to spread more awareness in rural setup about female primary infertility.

Histopathology of endometrium

Faithful reflection of ovarian cycle is provided by the endometrial morphology. According to histomorphology, they were divided as proliferative phase, secretory phase, endometritis, and neoplastic. In the present study, proliferative phase was seen in 39 (39.39%) patients, secretory phase in 57 (57.57%) patients, and endometritis in 3 (3.03%) patients.

Proliferative phase

It was further divided as–

  1. Normal proliferative phase – In the present study, 3 (3.03%) patients had normal proliferative phase. In the study by Nandedkar et al.,[8] 2015, it was 39.72%. This difference can be due to the difference in day of biopsy.
  2. Inadequate proliferative phase – In the present study, 8 (8.08%) patients had inadequate proliferative phase while it was 5.79% in study by Nandedkar et al.,[8] 2015. Thus, results were similar and therefore inadequate proliferative phase should be considered as a cause of infertility and biopsy can be advised in proliferative phase to detect inadequate proliferative phase defect in case where biopsy in secretory phase is normal.
  3. Proliferative phase (anovulatory) – In the present study, 28 (28.28%) patients had anovulatory phase which was the most common cause of infertility in the present study. Similar results were seen in study by Girish and Manjunath[5] - 27.8%, V. Sharma et al.[13] - 29.73%, Kaur et al.[14] - 33%, and Murmu et al.[15] - 21.92%.


  4. Thus, ovulatory phase is most commonly seen in female primary infertility, which can be due to nonfunctioning ovaries, gonadotropin resistant ovary syndrome, follicular insufficiency, endometrium partially refractive to estrogen or progesterone, polycystic ovary syndrome, and insufficient secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH).

  5. Endometrial hyperplasia – A total of 4 (4.04%) patients of hyperplasia were found in the present study in which 3 (3.03%) patients showed simple hyperplasia without atypia and 1 (1.01%) patient was of complex hyperplasia with atypia. The results were quite similar with the study by Nandedkar et al.,[8] 2015, who found 0.91% patient of hyperplasia in which maximum patients were of simple hyperplasia without atypia and very less 0.096% patient of complex hyperplasia in primary infertility.


Nisa,[16] 1983, found 3% of patients of endometrial hyperplasia which was similar with the present study. Similarly, the results of the present study were comparable with Sahmay et al.,[17] 1995-4.68% of hyperplasia patients, Girish and Manjunath[5] - 4% of simple hyperplasia patient, Murmu et al.[15] - 2.74% patients of simple cystic hyperplasia, and Lim et al.[9] - 2.9% patients of hyperplasia.

Secretory phase – it was further divided as

  1. Normal secretory phase – In the present study, 39.39% patients were in normal secretory phase. Maximum number of patients had normal finding of endometrium on histomorphology.


  2. The finding of the present study were similar with the following studies where maximum percentage of patients had normal secretory phase on histomorphology: Nandedkar et al.,[8] 7.52%, Nasir et al.,[18] 9.80%, and Murmu et al.,[15] 5.75%.

    Thus, large patients had normal endometrium morphological pattern in primary infertility, the cause of which can be neoplastic like fibroid, endometrial polyp, cervical polyp, or any other cause which are not detected on endometrial biopsy or D and C in the present study.

  3. Inadequate secretory phase/LPD – In the present study, 15.15% patients had inadequate secretory phase/LPD which was the second most common cause of infertility in the present study. The results were comparable with study by Sahmay et al.[17] - 28.3%, Nandedkar et al.[8] - 11.07%, V. Sharma et al.[13] - 20%, Murmu et al.[15] - 8.22%, and Achalkar[10] - 20%.


  4. Thus, inadequate secretory phase/LPD was the second common abnormal pattern in female primary infertility which can be due to persistent follicular delayed ovulation, inadequate FSH stimulation, inadequate LH stimulation with or without hyperprolactinemia.

  5. GSD – In the present study, GSD was present in 3.03% of patient which was similar with study by Nandedkar et al.,[8] 2015, - 4.75%.


Infections/endometritis

  1. Acute endometritis There was no case of acute endometritis in the present study which was similar to the study by Achalkar,[10] 2018, Nandedkar et al.,[8] 2015, Nasir et al.,[18] 2016, and Gupta et al.,[19] 2013.
  2. Chronic nonspecific endometritis In the present study, 1.01% patients had chronic nonspecific endometritis which was similar to the study by Ahmed et al.,[2] 2018-1.44% of patients, Girish and Manjunath,[5] 2011-2.7% of patients, Kasius et al.,[20] 2011-2.8% of patients.
  3. Tubercular endometritis In the present study, 2.02% patient had tubercular endometritis.


The similar results were seen in study by Nisa,[16] - 2.6%, Lim et al.,[9] - 1.9%, V. Sharma et al.,[ 13] - 2%, Murmu et al.,[15] - 1.37%

Distribution according to etiology

Of total 54 patients of abnormal endometrial pattern on histopathology of patients of primary infertility, maximum 51 patients (94.44%) had hormonal cause for primary infertility whereas 3 patients (5.56%) had infective cause for primary infertility.


  Conclusion Top


The present study concluded that most common age group of presentation was 25–30 years of age. Maximum patients presented within 1–3 years of infertility. Various abnormal patterns of endometrium in primary infertility are inadequate proliferative phase, anovulatory cycle, inadequate secretory phase/LPD, GSD, chronic nonspecific endometritis, and tubercular endometritis. Hormonal cause was the most common etiological cause for female primary infertility. Hormonal causes for primary infertility were anovulatory cycle, followed by LPD, inadequate proliferative phase defect, and GSD. In infective cause, most common was tubercular endometritis followed by chronic nonspecific endometritis. Anovulation was the principle cause for female primary infertility. Endometrial biopsy is most valuable, reliable, informative investigation to detect cause of infertility. Endometrial biopsy is one of the most important tools in workup of primary infertile female which not only detects hormonal dysfunction but also intrinsic factors for infertility by which cause can be detected and treatment can be given to infertile female. It provides simple and faithful reflection of ovarian cycle and also provides information about local factors in endometrium at cellular level.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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