Quality of sex life in women with endometriosis and deep dyspareunia

April 2005

Dr. Simone Ferrero and colleagues, from San Martino Hospital at the University of Genoa, evaluated the sexual function of 299 women undergoing surgery for infertility or pelvic pain. The team found that 170 women had endometriosis, while 129 did not.

As expected, the number of women who reported deep pain during sexual intercourse (also known as “dyspareunia”) was significantly higher among those with endometriosis (61 percent) than in those without endometriosis (35 percent), the investigators report in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

In fact, they point out, “more than 50 percent of women with endometriosis have had deep dyspareunia during their entire sex lives.”

It’s also “interesting that communication about sex with the partner was significantly compromised in women with endometriosis,” Ferrero commented.

According to the study findings, women with endometriosis infiltrating the uterus ligaments had intercourse less often and had less satisfying orgasms, more frequent interruption of intercourse due to pain and felt less relaxed and fulfilled after intercourse, compared with the others.

This is the first study to describe the abnormalities in sexual function of women with deep endometriosis lesions on the utero-sacral ligament, according to Ferrero.

Several studies have shown that surgical removal of endometriosis lesions can lessen the intensity of deep dyspareunia and improve the quality of sexual activity in these women, the investigators note in their report.


Ferrero S, Esposito F, Abbamonte LH, Anserini P, Remorgida V, Ragni N. Quality of sex life in women with endometriosis and deep dyspareunia. Fertil Steril 2005;83(3):573-9.


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