The BBC has recently discovered that thousands of women are being left in crippling pain due to delays in the diagnosis of Endometriosis. The condition, said to affect 1.5 million women in the UK, can be excruciatingly painful and have a significantly negative impact on their lives.
This latest study shockingly revealed that it takes over seven years on average for the condition to be diagnosed. Here, we’ll look at the results of the latest study and what it means for those who do suffer from the condition.
Understanding the latest Endometriosis study
The new research carried out by the BBC, saw 13,500 women take part. The Endometriosis UK charity helped to collect responses to surveys, which saw half report they had experienced suicidal symptoms.
The majority of respondents also said the condition has had a negative impact on their careers, relationships and mental health. It can also have a devastating impact on fertility. By the time a diagnosis is made, the symptoms are often at their worst, and the damage caused to the body is significant.
As a result of this latest study, MPs are set to launch an enquiry into the experiences of women living with the condition.
Why does it take so long to receive a diagnosis?
Considering how many women suffer from Endometriosis, it is shocking that a diagnosis isn’t reached for an average of seven years. Part of the reason is said to be down to a lack of knowledge regarding the condition. Physicians and caregivers could use a lot more education into the condition and the effects it can have.
The symptoms of the condition can also be mistakenly diagnosed as being normal. For example, pain during menstruation is considered normal and given that everyone has a different pain tolerance, it can be difficult for GPs to establish what is normal for patients. The symptoms can also be confused with other conditions.
So, it’s a combination of a lack of awareness about the condition and the symptoms it produces which can cause delays in diagnosis. Some women are also reluctant to talk about the symptoms due to their intimate nature.
What can you do if you suspect you have Endometriosis?
Although this new research highlights how much needs to be done to improve Endometriosis diagnosis, there are things patients can do.
Undergoing a gynaecological exam can help to diagnose the condition. If you don’t have confidence in your GP to diagnose the condition, these scans can be carried out by private clinics such as here at SureScan. These clinics tend to have a lot more knowledge of the condition and how it presents.
While there isn’t a cure for Endometriosis, there are effective treatments which can be used to reduce the symptoms. The earlier these treatments are sought, the less impact the condition will have both on a patients physical and mental health. This latest research highlights the desperate need for GPs and health practitioners to become more knowledgeable on the condition and the effect it can have on patient’s lives. Call 07835 736627 to arrange your appointment.