Perhaps I'm just in a cranky mood, but I was shocked to open my January 2013 issue of Fertility and Sterility and discover an article entitled, "Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case control study" (Vercellini, Buggio, Somigliana, Barbara, Vigano, and Fedele). I first thought that surely the article couldn't be about what I thought was about, but a closer examination revealed that I was correct. The authors spent considerable time and effort to compare women with different types of endometriosis--rectovaginal, ovarian and peritoneal, along with women with other gynecological conditions--on the variables of BMI, breast size, waist to hip ratio, and age of first coitius. They were also evaluated for attractiveness by a panel of four judges. According to the findings of the study, it turns out that women with rectovaginal endometriosis are considered to be significantly hotter than the women with the other conditions. So ladies, if that's you, you have my congratulations.
Can someone out there in the blogosphere please enlighten me as to 1) why this study was conducted in the first place and 2) why it was accepted for publication in a major scientific journal? The study authors argue that different types of gynecological disorders might be due to different genetic phenotypes, which would cause women to have different types of appearances. But is that really going to be helpful to science? Are doctors really going to start diagnosing the type of gynecological disorders a patient has based on how attractive they seem or when they lost their virginity? Especially when we can already diagnose these disorders using things that seem a bit more reliable, like ultrasound images, DNA testing, or surgical reports.
Endometriosis is a complicated disorder that causes a great deal of pain and suffering. Heck, I even have it myself (although not, as you may have guessed, the kind that makes a girl look appealing to a panel of four trained judges). Isn't there a better way to work on finding a treatment and a cure? In my opinion, infertility patients deserve better than an objectifying and demeaning study like this one, which seems to serve no one's interests.