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Study about how endometriosis affects men's sex lives has women pissed off

Endometriosis is underdiagnosed, and research is underfunded despite it affecting one in 10 U.S. women.
endometriosis, endometriosis men's sex lives, women's health, reproductive health
Endometriosis can cause infertility and severe pain in women. Photo: Flickr

In the latest news about how women’s health really only matters when it affects men, an Australian university is studying how men’s sex lives are affected when their partners suffer from endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining (called endometrial tissue) grows outside the uterus and can be extremely painful. It can cause infertility, and for many women who suffer from the condition, the pain can make sex unbearable.

Enter the study by a University of Sydney philosophy student entitled, “Does your female partner experience painful intercourse?”

The study asks male participants if their partners suffer from endometriosis, and “if so, we are interested in finding out how your sexual well-being has been affected.”

The study is being conducted by Jane Keany, a philosophy student at the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre.

Australian women’s rights activist and endometriosis sufferer Imogen Dunlevie felt “blind rage” when she learned of the university-funded study, and she took to Twitter to voice her concerns.

“I was frustrated,” Dunlevie told Junkee. “There is so little research and funding into endo, it seems ridiculous to me that there would be a study with a focus on how it impacts male sex lives.”

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the United States and 176 million worldwide, yet it is still a poorly understood disease and typically takes five to 10 years for women to be properly diagnosed, according to a 2016 study on the prevalence and incidence of endometriosis.

"If a man had a disease which caused him to be unable to father a child and [caused] unbearable pain during sex and unbearable pain during bowel movements treated by feminizing hormones and surgery, endometriosis would be a national emergency in this country,” nurse Nancy Petersen, director of the Endometriosis Treatment Program in Bend, Oregon, told Dr. Carolyn DeMarco.

It is this idea that has infuriated women seeing the Australian study on sexual consequences of endometriosis on men, and they’ve taken to Twitter to express their frustrations.

 
 
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