Exploring the impact of endometriosis on partners

J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2017 Jun;43(6):1048-1053. doi: 10.1111/jog.13325.


Aim: This study aimed to determine how endometriosis affects the quality of life of partners of women who suffer from this disease and how it impacts their relationships, finances, mental states, and daily living.

Methods: This was a questionnaire-based cohort study that took place at a large tertiary hospital gynecology unit, which covered two sites. Fifty-one partners of women who had surgically diagnosed endometriosis agreed to participate in the study and returned completed surveys.

Results: Ninety-two percent (n = 46) of partners reported negative feelings about the diagnosis of endometriosis. Seventy percent (n = 35) reported that endometriosis affected their day-to-day life either moderately or severely. Over half (52%) also felt that their finances were affected. Only 34% (n = 17) of partners felt that health professionals had engaged them in decision-making processes and had been supportive of them. Eighty percent (n = 40) of partners reported that they had received no information about the impact of endometriosis on couples. Partners reported a significant affect on their sex life (74%) and their relationship as a whole (56%). Participants whose relationships had been affected by endometriosis had also more likely had their day-to-day life (P = 0.027), sex life (P = 0.001), and finances (P = 0.002) affected.

Conclusion: Overall, our findings suggest that endometriosis can have a significant impact on partners with respect to day-to-day living, finances, sex lives, and relationships. Improvements can be made to engage partners in the treatment process, and to provide better education, support, and holistic management to women and families who suffer with endometriosis.

Keywords: endometriosis; partner; sexual dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endometriosis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spouses / psychology*