Several pathogenetic mechanisms have been postulated to explain the association between endometriosis and subfertility. However, to date, definitive conclusions cannot be drawn. In this study, we hypothesized that the reduced exploitation of the natural chances of conception could be an additional detrimental factor. Due to dyspareunia or the need for hormonal treatment to temper pelvic pain, one may expect affected women to exploit less the chances of natural pregnancy. In this cross-sectional study of 292 women undergoing IVF, we investigated the severity of pelvic pain symptoms, the sexual function (using the Female Sexual Function Index [FSFI]), and the reproductive strategies of women with (n = 62) and without (n = 230) endometriosis. Basal clinical and demographic characteristics did not differ between the two groups. Conversely, all pelvic pain symptom scores were increased in women with endometriosis. Endometriosis patients also showed greater pain at the FSFI, but no other significant differences were detected as regards sexual function. The use of hormonal contraceptive agents did not differ between the study groups. Moreover, questions aimed at disentangle whether affected women exploited less the natural chances of pregnancy did not reveal any significant difference. In conclusion, this study does not support the hypothesis that women with endometriosis exploit less the chances of natural pregnancy, despite the presence of pelvic pain.
- Natural pregnancy
- Sexual function