Endometriosis and Physical Activity

Endometriosis and Physical Activity

Women with endometriosis are less prone to engage physical activity compared to those without endometriosis.

Key Points


  • Endometriosis causes diminished physical activity in women due to a variety of underlying causes such as increased pain and pain sensitivity, fear and avoidance, fatigue, and limited social support.


  • Promotion of physical activity by tailoring interventions in endometriosis patients may result in pain relief and life quality improvement.

What’s done here?

  • This multi-center, cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the effect of endometriosis on physical activity, self-reported physical activity was the primary outcome.
  • The study group consisted of women with histologically confirmed endometriosis; those without any signs of suspicious endometriosis were in the control group.
  • Endometriosis patients were subanalyzed after stratification according to the rASRM classification.
  • The self-administered questionnaire questioned factors related to endometriosis, quality of life, health conditions, demographic information, pregnancy, partnership, lifestyle, and psychological disorders.
  • Information on endometriosis-related pain was assessed using the "Brief Pain Inventory" and the "Pain Disability Index".

Key results:

  • A total of 460 women with endometriosis and 460 age-matched women without endometriosis were included.
  • Depression was experienced more frequently in the endometriosis group, hormonal contraceptive use was more common in the control group.
  • Fewer hours of sports weekly and climbing fewer stairs daily were significant in endometriosis patients.
  • After multinomial logistic regression analysis, controlling income, parity, dysmenorrhea, contraceptive use, and depression, “hours of sports weekly” remained significant.
  • The time interval from the latest laparoscopy did not have a significant effect on physical activity.

Strengths and Limitations:

  • The self-administered nature of the questionnaire was subjective and may be influenced by recall bias.
  • Having no information about medication use other than hormonal contraceptives and enrollment in a program promoting physical activity, the presence of undiagnosed endometriosis in the control group, and/or underdiagnosis of adenomyosis in both groups are other limitations.

Lay Summary

Endometriosis causes abstinence from their daily life, especially during painful periods. Decreased physical function might result in reduced physical activity.

Sachs et al., from Switzerland, published a study titled “Physical Activity in Women with Endometriosis: Less or More Compared with a Healthy Control?” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The authors aimed to investigate the effect of endometriosis on physical activity, compared to women without any suspicious signs of endometriosis in this multi-center, cross-sectional study.

Demographic and clinical data of the population was retrieved through questionnaires. There was no significant difference in terms of age, education level, and stable partnership between the two groups. Endometriosis patients exhibited fewer hours of sports weekly and climbed fewer stairs daily compared to the control group.

When the endometriosis patients were subanalyzed regarding their rASRM classification, current dysmenorrhea, primary dysmenorrhea, endometriosis-related chronic pain, hours of endometriosis-related pain (per day), hormonal contraceptive use, fatigue, and depression did not show significant difference.  

 “These results highlight the need for interventions to promote increased physical activity in endometriosis patients and harness the associated health benefits,” the authors added.

Research Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37681799/

endometriosis physical activity exercise dysmenorrhea


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