A new study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology has found that women who suffer from pelvic pain caused by endometriosis may need psychological intervention in order to help improve their mental health and quality of life.
The study, which assessed quality of life, anxiety and depression in 110 patients with surgically diagnosed endometriosis and 61 healthy controls, found that those who experience pelvic pain had poorer mental health than those who did not.
It was also found that women with asymptomatic endometriosis (no pain) are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than those who have pelvic pain. It seems that pain is the key aspect for women, which is an important point for the medical community treating endometriosis patients. Previously, it was known that endometriosis could impact on quality of life. However, it was generally believed that a chronic inflammatory disease of this kind was simply the reason for a lower quality of life. The new information could make it easier for doctors to recognise the need for emphasis on pain experiences and pointers to when patients with endometriosis may be in need of psychological intervention.
A spokesperson from Taylor & Francis, publisher of The Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, has described just how important this research is to women who suffer from endometriosis.
"Not only do we know just how much impact pelvic pain can have on quality of life, but we've also learned that different types of endometriosis pain (dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, non-menstrual pelvic pain and dyschezia) can affect mental health in different ways. This means that in assessing patient symptoms and pain types, doctors will be able to provide them with the most appropriate type of psychological intervention to improve their quality of life."
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Facchin, F., Barbara, G., Saita, E., Mosconi, P., Roberto, A., Fedele, L., & Vercellini, P. (2015). Impact of endometriosis on quality of life and mental health: pelvic pain makes the difference. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 36(4), 135-141.