MPs Are Calling For 'Urgent' Improvement In Endometriosis Care
A report by MPs is urging for major improvements in endometriosis diagnoses and care in the UK.
More than 10,000 people took part in the All-Party Political Group inquiry into the condition, which can cause debilitating pain, heavy periods and infertility.
Despite endometriosis affecting one in 10 women in the UK, the report found the average wait for a diagnosis was a staggering eight years.
Among those suffering, 58 per cent of people had to visit their GP 10 times before endometriosis was diagnosed, while 53 per cent went to A&E with severe symptoms.
The majority of people who took part in the inquiry told MPs their mental health, education and careers had been damaged by the condition - with some even having to quit their jobs to manage their health.
Sarah Smallbone, 37, explained to MPs that she had to have four operations in three years after she was diagnosed with endometriosis aged 30.
While she initially worked in a supermarket, she was forced to quit her job after her condition worsened.
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"After several warnings for my sickness, he final straw was returning from surgery, which ended up causing me kidney failure, and being given an official disciplinary. Knowing that I still needed another operation to reverse my bowel, I felt I had no choice but to quit."
Currently, there is no cure for endometriosis, with treatments including hormone therapy and surgery, including a full hysterectomy.
Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who chaired the inquiry, said: "It is not acceptable that endometriosis and its potentially debilitating and damaging symptoms are often ignored or not taken seriously - or downplayed as linked to the menstrual cycle and periods."
Meanwhile, minister for women's heath Nadine Dorries said while awareness was growing for the disease, there was still significant progress to be made.
"I am committed to filling the evidence gaps to better understand the issues facing women and improve women's health," she said. "We have provided £2m, through the National Institute for Health Research, to investigate the effectiveness of surgery compared with non-surgical interventions to manage chronic pain in a specific type of endometriosis.
"Clinicians have a vital role in removing the stigma associated with endometriosis and I would urge them to follow the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines, and to do all they can to support the mental and physical health of those suffering from this condition."
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock
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