Chronic Fatigue, Physical Impairments and Quality of Life in Women with Endometriosis: A Case-Control Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 21;17(10):3610. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103610.


Aim: To explore endometriosis-related fatigue (ERF), health-related fitness, sleep quality, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with endometriosis in comparison with matched controls.

Methods: Twenty-five affected women and twenty-five age and height-matched women without endometriosis were included. ERF was assessed through the Piper Fatigue Scale; health-related fitness was assessed through the Schöber, flamingo, and 6-min walking tests and dynamometry; and body composition was assessed through impedanciometry. Self-perceived physical fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL were assessed through the International Fitness Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey, respectively.

Results: Affected women exhibited higher levels of ERF than controls, increased fat mass, and physical deconditioning (reduced back strength, lumbar flexibility, body balance, and functional capacity, p-values < 0.050). Moreover, cases also had poorer perceived physical fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL (p-value < 0.050). Finally, we observed deteriorated health-related fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL in those women with endometriosis with higher levels of ERF.

Conclusions: This study constitutes the first evidence that women with endometriosis describe a generalized physical deconditioning, even more pronounced in affected women with higher levels of ERF. Further studies assessing the efficacy of rehabilitation interventions to face these physical impairments in women with endometriosis are warranted.

Keywords: chronic fatigue; endometriosis; health-related fitness; health-related quality of life; sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometriosis* / complications
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Physical Fitness
  • Quality of Life