“Hey, you’re in pain ­–­ but at least you’re sexy!”


That, in essence, summarises a 2013 study that's been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, after it compared the sexual attractiveness of endometriosis patients and non-sufferers.


The research, publicly funded by the University of Milan, found that women suffering from the particularly painful rectovaginal strain of the gyaecological condition, were, to put it bluntly, hotter than women who don’t experience crippling agony every month. The lucky endo-crew is slimmer too, with bigger boobs. Oh, and they probably lost their virginity earlier.


Now, I bet I can guess what you’re thinking. That these dubious findings are a sideline to the main study? That scurrilous feminists like myself have highlighted the questionable aspects of an otherwise health-led piece of research by a leading gynaecologist?


Erm, nope. The study, led by obstetrician and former president of the World Endometriosis Society, Dr Paolo Vercellini, set out to establish exactly how women ranked on an undisclosed sexiness scale. The catchily-named paper was called – wait for it – Attractiveness of Women with Rectovaginal Endometriosis: a Case-Control Study. At least it does what it says on the tin, I guess, even if acclaimed gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter immediately described it as a “title so obscene I can barely type it.”


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