Pain threshold and sleep quality in women with endometriosis

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Pain is a common complaint in women with endometriosis and can be influenced by many variables, including sleep disorders; however, no data are available on the sleep quality of women with endometriosis or on the correlation between sleep quality and pain.


The 510 volunteers included in this study were divided into two groups: 257 women with a laparoscopic and histopathological diagnosis of endometriosis and 253 women with no history of endometriosis and no endometriosis-related symptoms. The volunteers answered two questionnaires: the Post-Sleep Inventory to evaluate sleep quality and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to assess their level of physical activity. Pain was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and women were also submitted to a physical examination, during which their pain threshold was assessed at 20 different body sites.


Sleep quality was significantly poorer in women with endometriosis compared to women without the disease. The pain threshold was significantly lower in the greater trochanter and abdomen in women with endometriosis when compared to women without the disease; however, there was no difference in VAS pain score between the groups. The higher the VAS pain score, the lower the Post-Sleep Inventory score. Additionally, there was a significant positive correlation between the pain threshold at some body sites and sleep quality.


Sleep quality was poorer and the pain threshold at certain body sites was lower in the group of women with endometriosis.

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