Endometriosis May Change Women’s Personality, Study Suggests

Endometriosis May Change Women’s Personality, Study Suggests

Women with the disease may therefore also need non-medical attention.

Key Points


  • Endometriosis seems to have an effect on women's personality.


  • A better understanding of the disease and how it affects the different aspects of a woman’s life can ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment, including non-medical attention.

What's done here:

  • Researchers used the life orientation test-revised (LOT-R) to assess the dispositional optimism of women with endometriosis and compared it to that of women without the disease. 

Key results:

  • Women with endometriosis have lower optimism compared to women without the disease.


  • Endometriosis was diagnosed using transvaginal ultrasound in women who took part in this study. Although highly sensitive, the method cannot replace surgical-pathological diagnosis. Women may, therefore, have been misclassified, which could have an impact on the results.
  • This was a cross-sectional study or a study that analyzes data at a specific point in time and did not take into account women's optimism before being diagnosed with endometriosis. 

Lay Summary

The personality of women may be altered as a result of endometriosis, according to a study published in the Journal of "Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology". This finding suggests that a better understanding of the disease is needed in order to provide affected women the best possible care by a multi-disciplinary team that includes psychologists.

Endometriosis is a disease that is multidimensional. It has a wide range of symptoms, including chronic pain. In addition, its likely course is full of uncertainties and it may lead to infertility. These factors can cause a number of emotional disturbances in women with the disease and affect many aspects of their lives. Yet there are very few studies that analyzed the effect of the disease on a woman’s psychological wellbeing.

In the present study, researchers in Spain led by Dr. Alberto Manuel Torres-Cantero wanted to explore psychological factors such as optimism in endometriosis. In order to do so, they conducted a case-control study on 95 women with endometriosis and 156 women without the disease. They used the life orientation test-revised (LOT-R) to asses the dispositional optimism of the women. 

Dispositional optimism is defined as a general expectation that more good or desirable things will happen than bad or undesirable things, in the future. LOT-R is a standard psychological tool used to measure optimism. 

When they analyzed the responses of women to the test, the researchers found that those with endometriosis had lower scores, and therefore lower optimism, compared to those without the disease. “ This study provides the first evidence that a personality dimension with many prognostic implications may be altered in women with endometriosis,” they wrote and added that the disease should be treated by a multi-disciplinary team with its biopsychological aspect in mind.

Research Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32081052

Optimism life orientation test LOT-R personality psychology


EndoNews highlights the latest peer-reviewed scientific research and medical literature that focuses on endometriosis. We are unbiased in our summaries of recently-published endometriosis research. EndoNews does not provide medical advice or opinions on the best form of treatment. We highly stress the importance of not using EndoNews as a substitute for seeking an experienced physician.