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REVIEW  ENDOMETRIOSIS AND PELVIC PAIN 

Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021 October;73(5):536-52

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04781-3

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Endometriosis-associated pain: a review of quality of life, sexual health and couple relationship

Valentina ROSSI 1 , Francesca TRIPODI 1, Chiara SIMONELLI 2, Roberta GALIZIA 2, Filippo M. NIMBI 2

1 Institute of Clinical Sexology, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Dynamic, Clinical and Health Psychology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy



INTRODUCTION: Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease that affects women’s quality of life, sexuality, and relationship. Endometriosis-associated pain plays an essential role in well-being impairment. The present review aimed to analyze literature about endometriosis-associated pain and quality of life, sexual health, and quality of the relationship, assessing the role of the bio-psycho-social factors involved and the women’s pain experience.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Bibliographic research of relevant articles published from 2015 to 2020 in PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, EBSCO, and Cochrane Library.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Endometriosis is associated with impairing all women’s quality of life domains, and pain appears to be the most influential variable. The pain mechanism is not simple and implies several biological, psychological, and social factors. Women’s sexual health is also impaired, and patients report dyspareunia, sexual dysfunctions, dissatisfaction, and distress. Partners’ sexual well-being is compromised as well. Endometriosis negatively influences relationship quality, and the illness burden affects both couple members.
CONCLUSIONS: A multidisciplinary team using a couple-centered and a biopsychosocial approach is crucial to provide appropriate treatment for endometriosis-associated pain. A better comprehension of all bio-psycho-social aspects implicated in women’s well-being and pain experience needs more research.


KEY WORDS: Endometriosis; Quality of life; Sexuality; Mental health

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