Endometriosis can impact many aspects of a partner’s life and it is crucial that changes be made in health care to acknowledge and lessen that impact.
- Endometriosis affects many aspects of life for the partners of those living with endometriosis.
- There has not been a lot of research on affect endometriosis has on a patient’s significant other.
What’s done here?
- The study recruited male partners of female patients who were surgically diagnosed with endometriosis. The patients were found using a hospital database and were then contacted regarding their significant other.
- 51 consenting partners took a survey that was related to the “UK Endopart” Study. This survey consisted of questions that gauged the participant’s experience with endometriosis. While most of the questions were multiple choice, there was space to write additional comments.
- IBM SPSS 22 was used to analyze data. Pearson’s χ2-test/Fisher’s exact test showed associations between partner’s characteristics and the effect on their relationship. Risk factors linked to the relationship were identified using various logistic regressions analyses.
- 92% of partners had negative feelings about their partner’s endometriosis diagnosis. Common emotions noted include anger, frustration, and worry.
- 34% of partners felt as though the health care professional involved them in decision-making and supported them through this difficult disease.
- 80% of the participants felt as though they were not adequately educated about the disease and the impacts it would have. Most partners would have liked to get the information face-to-face or via the Internet.
- 70% of partners felt as though the disease affected their daily lives.
- 52% of partners noted that their finances were affected. This was largely attributed to the fact that the disease affected the patient’s career.
- 74% of participants felt as though their sex life was affected and 52% saw a change in their relationship. Most partners stated that intercourse was too painful for their significant other.
- Participants that noted a change in their relationship due to the disease also tended to notice a change in their sex life, daily life, and finances.
- Indubitably, the effects of the disease on the partner are numerous. In the future, it is essential that the health model is changed to accommodate the partner. This accommodation could include involvement, education, and support.
Limitations of the study:
- This study was conducted in one geographical area. More information from varied sources needs to be collected.
Endometriosis can significantly impact the life of the woman who has the disease as well as the life of those who support and care for her. Ameratunga et al. recently published a study titled “Exploring the impact of endometriosis on partners” in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research that discusses the various effects endometriosis has on a patient’s partner. More specifically, the authors looked at the way endometriosis impacts a partner’s relationships, financial well-being, mental state, and quality of life.
The study consisted of recruiting the male partners of women who were surgically diagnosed with endometriosis. 51 partners participated and were given a survey that questioned them about their experiences with endometriosis.
The results of the study showed that 92% of partners had negative feelings about their partner’s endometriosis diagnosis. Only a third of the participants felt as though the health care professionals involved the participants or supported them through this trying time. 80% of partners said that they were not educated about the impact the disease would have on their relationship with their significant other. 70% of participants said that their daily lives were disrupted by the decision. Additionally, 52% of participants noted that their finances were affected, largely due to the impact endometriosis had on their partner’s career. 74% of partners stated that the disease had an adverse effect on their love life and 56% of partners said that it adversely affected their relationship. Additionally, there appears to be a link between having relationship problems because of the disease and the disease causing issues in other aspects of a partner’s life.
Without a doubt, endometriosis affects the partners of those living with the disease. Changes can be made at the health care level to involve the partners and to offer education and support.