The impact of endometriosis on work and social participation

Int J Nurs Pract. 2008 Dec;14(6):443-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2008.00718.x.


Endometriosis is a debilitating chronic disease that can affect many aspects of everyday life owing to symptoms such as pain and fatigue. This paper reports the findings of a study exploring the impact of symptomatic endometriosis on women's social and working life. The study used a feminist approach. Eighteen women were interviewed and a thematic approach used to analyse the data. The analysis is structured around three themes focusing on issues around disclosure of symptoms in the work place; the impact of symptoms on work, education and social participation; and the strategies used by women in the study to manage endometriosis. A range of health and employment implications are discussed in this paper. In particular, nurses can provide useful support to women by careful assessment and prompt referral for diagnostic procedures and by providing timely and comprehensive information, including information about the lifestyle and nutritional factors recommended by women with endometriosis.

MeSH terms

  • Employment*
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology
  • Endometriosis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*