Pain and endometriosis: Etiology, impact, and therapeutics

Robert N. Taylor, Lone Hummelshoj, Pamela Stratton, Paolo Vercellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association of pain and endometriosis was recognized with the first definitive published reports of this disorder. Unfortunately, the precise etiologies and pathways leading to nociception and pain symptoms in endometriosis remain poorly understood, and as a result, effective therapeutic interventions are lacking with consequent profound effects on affected women's quality of life. In this opinion paper we summarize selected proceedings presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Istanbul, Turkey, and review the clinical and translational evidence of chronic pain, neurogenesis, and the pernicious impact of dyspareunia on women with symptomatic endometriosis. The effectiveness of medical treatments is critically assessed and the findings indicate that good therapeutic options are available with extant medications effective in some sub-groups of women with endometriosis, many of which are affordable globally. Nevertheless, new management strategies and drugs need to be developed to increase the options of all afflicted women to minimize and ideally eradicate painful symptoms of endometriosis. However, only by elucidating distinctions among sub-groups with specific symptoms, suggesting different mechanisms, are we likely to derive truly successful therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalMiddle East Fertility Society Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Dyspareunia
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic pain
  • Quality of life
  • Social impact
  • Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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