Women with the most severe form of endometriosis also happen to be unusually attractive, new research has revealed.
An Italian study was done involving 300 women - 100 with rectovaginal endometriosis, 100 with less severe endometriosis and 100 without the condition at all but undergoing gynocological surgery for other reasons. Scientists found women with the worst cases were significantly more attractive than the other participants, Medical Daily reported.
Results found only 8 per cent of the women with mild endometriosis and 9 per cent of ladies without the condition were rated as attractive. Meanwhile 31 per cent of women with severe cases were judged highest on a 5-point scale by a group of independent observers who weren't aware of the participants' condition.
Endometriosis occurs when cells that normally line the womb or uterus grow into other areas of the body like the ovaries, rectum, bladder or pelvic area. Those cells react to hormonal changes that happen during a women's cycle by thickening and shrinking causing pain in the lower back and pelvic and bleeding.
About 130,000 girls and women have endometriosis in New Zealand, according to Endometriosis New Zealand.
"Several researchers believe that a general phenotype exists which is associated with the disease," study author Dr Paolo Vercellini from Milan's Universita delgi Studi told My Health News Daily.
Researchers say results suggests a more feminine body type may predispose women to develop severe endometriosis. The results found women with severe cases tended to have a smaller body mass index and larger breasts.
They can't explain why the women are more attractive, but believe oestrogen could play a part. Previous studies have found more attractive women have higher levels of the hormone.
"[Oestrogen] might favour the development of aggressive and infiltrating endometriotic lesions, particularly in the most feminine subjects," researchers wrote in the report, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility