Research published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care found that endometriosis affects women’s sex lives, personal relationships, work life, and emotional well-being.
Endometriosis often takes a long time to be diagnosed and affects all areas of a women’s life, a study has found. Endometriosis is a chronic, recurring disease that is experienced by approximately 10 per cent of women worldwide. This number could be greatly understated as many women have not being diagnosed properly and many women still think period pain is normal.
But, while period pain is part of endometriosis, a significant portion of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic (meaning no symptoms) and only get diagnosed when there is a need for fertility treatment.
Common symptoms include of Endometriosis
• Painful menstruation,
• Heavy menstrual bleeding,
• Painful sex
• IBS like symptoms
• Bladder issues (UTI like symptoms)
• Ovulation Pain
• Pain with bowel movement
• Chronic Fatigue
The Research Unit at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, reviewed a number of papers that documented women’s experiences of endometriosis. The most common theme was that women had experienced delays in diagnosis.
Many women feel they are being dismissed and this is evident in the fact that it often takes up to “10 years, or more” for women to be diagnosed properly.
The study found that women were more likely to be diagnosed sooner when they approached their doctor describing symptoms as fertility-related rather than a menstrual issue.
The study showed that some women initially delayed seeking help for their symptoms because they believed all women had painful periods. When women revealed their symptoms to a family member, friend or medical professional their experiences were typically normalised as being what all women must endure. Period pain is not normal and all women need to know this.
The study also found that women often felt frustrated and angry at unsatisfactory experiences with healthcare providers, and had concerns about the effectiveness and side effects of treatments.
Women want their doctors to really listen to their experience and concerns. They want to explain the true impact of the condition on their lives, rather than simply rank their pain on a scale from one to 10, or be dismissed each time they try to have their doctor listen to what they are going through on a daily basis.
The study found that further research was needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of endometriosis as experienced by diverse groups of women.
This research will contribute to the improved health care of women with endometriosis in Australia, and around the world.
Too many women being ‘missed’ and ‘dismissed’
I see so many women who have been misdiagnosed, had symptoms missed and been dismissed for years and seen multiple healthcare practitioner, both medical and complementary.
There are clear-cut signs and symptoms that point to endometriosis and we need for healthcare practitioners to start to know this. We also need for practitioners and the public to know that endometriosis can only be diagnosed by a laparoscopy (surgical intervention) and that scans and blood tests, do not diagnose endometriosis.
Lastly, my message to all women is ….. “Period Pain IS NOT Normal” and people need to stop telling women it is.
There is too much BS out there about endometriosis and we need all women and all healthcare practitioners to start knowing the facts. 10 years, or more, to a diagnosis is unacceptable for any health condition. It means many women are being ‘missed’ and ‘dismissed’ along the way. Let’s put an end to Endometriosis.
If you do need help with period pain, or help managing endometriosis properly, then please book in a consultation with me and I can help you get the help and proper care you need.
Dr Andrew Orr
-Women’s Health Expert
-No Stone Left Unturned