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Endometriosis has hit the news headlines this week after an inquiry has revealed that it takes an average of 8 years for women to receive a diagnosis for this debilitating and painful condition.

The report carried out by the All-Party Political Group found that 58% of the 10,000 women surveyed had visited their GP more than 10 times before being diagnosed and 53% of women had attended A&E with severe symptoms.

Many people in the public eye have now spoken out and headed to Twitter to share their experiences, with many suffering for over 10 years before being referred to specialists and receiving a diagnosis. MPs are now calling for Government action to support the 1.5million endometriosis sufferers in the UK as the diagnosis times have shown no improvement over a decade.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition. It occurs when cells, similar to those in the womb lining, grows elsewhere in the body (mainly around the bowel, bladder and reproductive organs). These tissues will build up and break down each month, but unlike a usual period, there is nowhere for the blood to exit the body. This causes inflammation, pain, and scar tissue to build up internally.

It is more common in women between the ages of 30-40, however it can affect any menstruating girl or woman. It is thought that you are at a higher risk of suffering from endometriosis if you have not had children, have longer menstrual periods and short cycles or a family history of the condition. However much more research is required into endometriosis.

There is no cure but there are treatments available to help reduce the symptoms. This includes pain relief, surgery, and hormone treatments. In extreme cases, some women require a hysterectomy.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Some of the common symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, bloating and inflammation, heavy periods, painful bowel and bladder movements, fatigue, painful sex and problems conceiving. Endometriosis can affect women in different ways and unfortunately it can often be dismissed as ‘women’s troubles’ and many women have reported being given pain relief rather than being investigated for further problems.

Sufferers of this deliberating condition often experience issues with their mental health. It can impact on their sexual relationships, their relationships in general, social life, education and careers. Often women with endometriosis will need to take time off work or cancel plans when they are having a particularly bad flare up.

Getting a Diagnosis

 

Hopefully, now that the condition is being brought into the spotlight and put on the government’s agenda, there will be more understanding of this painful condition and women can get the help they need without having to wait 8+ years.

   

The only way to truly diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy keyhole surgery. Women need to receive a hospital referral to be looked at by a specialist via their doctor.

   

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of endometriosis, they should visit their GP without delay, as an early diagnosis can reduce the internal damage caused by scar tissue and relieve the pain. It may be useful to keep a diary or log of symptoms to keep track of how your symptoms are progressing and share this information with your doctor.

   

Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can point to other issues and the discomfort can be difficult to communicate. It is important to share all information so that doctors have a better chance at spotting something more serious.

   

Get In Touch

 

For more information about delayed diagnosis or a failure to treat endometriosis or any other medical conditions, please get in touch with our understanding team of experts on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com. All discussions are without obligation, free of charge and 100% confidential.

   

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The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.