The Link Between Sex & Endometriosis

The in vitro findings raise the possibility that exposure to seminal fluid may contribute to the worsening of endometriosis.

AsianScientist (May 6, 2015) – A study published in The American Journal of Pathology has found that contact with seminal fluid could encourage the development of endometriosis.

“In laboratory studies, our research found that seminal fluid (a major component of semen) enhances the survival and growth of endometriosis lesions,” says co-lead author Dr. Jonathan McGuane from the University of Adelaide.

Associate Professor Louise Hull, also with the University’s Robinson Research Institute, says a lot remains unknown about what causes and how to effectively prevent and treat endometriosis. However, more is now known about what aggravates the condition.

“Endometriosis, when tissue that normally grows inside a women’s uterus grows outside the uterus, affects one in ten reproductive-aged women. The condition’s symptoms vary but include painful periods, pelvic pain and women with endometriosis may have difficulty conceiving,” says Hull.

Hull notes that the results of the study are significant in determining the development of endometriosis.

“This is an important finding and raises the possibility that exposure of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) to seminal fluid may contribute to the progression of the disease in women,” she says.

However, Hull says a lot more research is needed to uncover what this means for the relationship between endometriosis and sexual activity.

“The next stage of the research will look at what this means for women with and without endometriosis,” says Hull.

“We now need to apply these laboratory findings to real life and determine whether the exposure of seminal fluid that occurs naturally during intercourse puts women at increased risk of developing endometriosis. And if modifications to sexual activity could lower the severity of the disease in women with endometriosis,” she says.

The article can be found at: McGuane et al. (2015) Seminal Plasma Promotes Lesion Development In A Xenograft Model Of Endometriosis .


Source: The University of Adelaide; Photo: Horia Varlan/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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