Uterine fibroids and gynecologic pain symptoms in a population-based study

Sheri A. Lippman, Marcella Warner, Steven Samuels, David Olive, Paolo Vercellini, Brenda Eskenazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To determine the association between dyspareunia, dysmenorrhea, and noncyclic pelvic pain and the presence and characteristics of uterine fibroids. Design: Population-based cross-sectional study. Setting: Desio, Italy. Patient(s): Six hundred thirty-five non-care-seeking participants of the Seveso Women's Health Study with an intact uterus who underwent transvaginal ultrasound. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Ultrasound-detected presence of uterine fibroids and fibroid characteristics including volume, number, location, and position. Current dyspareunia, dysmenorrhea, and noncyclic pelvic pain was measured by self-report on a visual analog scale. Result(s): Uterine fibroids were detected in 96 women (15%). Women with fibroids were more likely to report moderate or severe dyspareunia (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.9-8.3, statistically significant trend) and moderate or severe noncyclic pelvic pain (adjusted OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 0.9-7.6, statistically significant trend) than women without fibroids. Moderate or severe dysmenorrhea was not associated with the presence of fibroids (adjusted OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.5-2.6). Number and total volume of fibroids were not related to pain. Conclusion(s): This is the first population-based study of gynecologic pain symptoms and fibroids. Dyspareunia and noncyclic pelvic pain, but not dysmenorrhea, increased in severity with the presence of uterine fibroids. Fibroid-associated pain symptomatology in a non-care-seeking population may be different from that of a clinic population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1488-1494
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Dyspareunia
  • Epidemiology
  • Leiomyoma
  • Pelvic pain
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Uterine fibroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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