Effect of Physical Activity and Pain Education on Endometriosis-associated Pain

  • End date
    Jan 13, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University Hospital, Akershus
Updated on 13 March 2022
pelvic pain


Endometriosis is a benign gynecological condition where the uterine endometrium is located outside the uterus. The condition affects up to 10% of women of fertile age and up to 70% of women with endometriosis have symptoms with severe pain during menstruation (dysmenorrhea), pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), and/or chronic pelvic pain. Current treatments are dictated by the primary symptom: pain and are limited to surgery and hormonal treatments with often short-lived effects. Advances in the understanding of the condition have expanded to focus on less invasive and non-pharmacological treatments. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies have focused on the protective role of physical activity and exercise on the risk of developing endometriosis. The results from these studies have been inconclusive. However, the efficacy of physical activity and exercise on pain among women with endometriosis has not been tested in high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCT).


Due to the complexity of the disease, international clinical guidelines recommend that the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain should come from a multimodal and multidisciplinary perspective. Numerous non-pharmacological treatments have been proposed to alleviate endometriosis-associated pain, such as physical activity. Physical activity was introduced as a factor in the treatment of endometriosis-associated pain over three decades ago, with the possible beneficial effect that physical activity stimulates anti-inflammatory properties that will impede the development of endometriosis and lower the pain. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis found one randomized controlled study that showed no effect of physical activity on endometriosis-associated pain. They concluded that the methodological quality of this study was low, and the need for future randomized controlled studies was warranted. We, therefore, aimed to study the effect of pain education and group-based physical activity versus pain education alone on women with endometriosis-associated pain.

Condition Endometriosis
Treatment Exercise
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05091268
SponsorUniversity Hospital, Akershus
Last Modified on13 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Women of age 18-45 with signs of endometriosis on ultrasound and/or MRI and/or confirmed by laparoscopy with histology at Akershus University Hospital and Oslo University Hospital. Women may also be recruited through social media but must present with diagnosis of endometriosis
genital-pelvic pain ≥4/10 as measured on a numeric rating scale
able to understand and speak Norwegian language
able to meet at Akershus University Hospital for participation in the study
giving signed consent to participate

Exclusion Criteria

Intra-abdominal or vaginal surgery in the last six months
Patients who have received Botox over the past four months
Severe pathology (malignancy),cardiovascular conditions and immune system diseases diagnosed by specialist; pregnancy, as well as childbirth the last 12 months and breastfeeding; severe psychiatric disorders that demands or has demanded admission to the hospital; personality disorder diagnosed by specialist and recently started or recently adjusted ongoing hormonal therapy
Participants should not have any disease or injury that could prevent them from participating in the intervention
Participants will be encouraged not to start with any new treatment (non-pharmacological or pharmacological) during the four-month intervention period
Participants who have recently undergone surgery and received Botox injections into the pelvic area can be referred but must wait 4-6 months before being included in the study. Women with planned surgery or Botox in the study period will be excluded
Participants recently started or adjusting ongoing hormonal therapy must wait 3-6 months to be included in the study
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