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The Effects of Symptomatic Endometriosis on Womanhood

By Sisley Fay Osborne

Abstract

Endometriosis is a common chronic gynaecological condition within women of reproductive age.\ud Section A: A literature review was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of depression in women with endometriosis and explain the development of depression using a diathesis-stress framework. A systematic search revealed twenty-one relevant studies. The evidence suggested that depression was more prevalent within women with endometriosis than women in the general population. The effects of chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia, infertility and the psychosocial implications associated with these stressors were suggested to be involved in the development of depression in women with endometriosis, mediated by cognitive diatheses such as illness representations, perceived control, perceived self efficacy and coping style. In conclusion, the literature supported the application of the diathesis-stress model to explain the development of depression in women with endometriosis.\ud Section B: The research study investigated whether endometriosis affected womanhood through the qualitative exploration of identity as a woman, wellbeing, sexuality, fertility and relationships. Seven women with a laparoscopic diagnosis of endometriosis were interviewed. Four master themes were elicited from the data using Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis that represented women’s experiences of endometriosis and its effect on womanhood, motherhood and emotional wellbeing. Womanhood remained relatively intact, although at times it affected identity as a woman, sexuality and self-esteem. The endometriosis journey was fluctuating and unpredictable, yet, women with endometriosis were able to regain control and normality, adjusting to the condition. The need for the availability of professional emotional support for women with endometriosis was highlighted.\ud Section C: The critique of research outlined my experiences and reflections of conducting research. It described the origin and development of the study, as well as the challenges met and learning points gained along the way. Furthermore, it detailed a critique of myself as a researcher and reflected on the personal impact of research on the self

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8617

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