MPs Have Launched An Official Inquiry Into Endometriosis
MPs have launched an inquiry to investigate the challenges faced by women suffering from endometriosis.
The investigation, headed up by the APPG on endometriosis and supported by the charity Endometriosis UK, will look at what steps the Government can take to help those with the often-debilitating disease.
Endometriosis is caused when endometrial tissue - which normally lines the inside of the uterus - starts to grow outside the uterus.
The endometrial tissue reacts to the menstrual cycle as it would in the womb - shedding, breaking down and bleeding.
When this process happens within womb, it leaves the body in a monthly period. But when it happens outside of the uterus, there's nowhere for the tissue to go.
This build-up of shedding and bleeding causes pain, discomfort and inflammation, as well as scar tissue.
The disease affects one in 10 women in the UK, but remains difficult to diagnose. Incredibly, it takes an average of seven and a half years.
This huge margin of error gives time for symptoms - both physical and mental - to worsen.
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Why is diagnosing the condition so problematic? Well, symptoms of endometriosis - which include painful and irregular periods, pain and discomfort during or after sex, painful bowel movements, difficulty getting pregnant and feelings of fatique - overlap with other conditions.
Endometriosis is commonly misdiagnosed as appendicitis, colon and ovarian cancer, fibroids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and a variety of STIs.
Many sufferers have also called out a general lack of awareness among health professional of the disease. Celebrities like Lena Dunham, who has had a total hysterectomy because of endometriosis, have spoken out about the continued misdiagnosis and misunderstanding of the condition.
Talking about the inquiry, Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK, said: "This inquiry is a welcome opportunity for the Government and NHS to get real about the impact of endometriosis on individuals and society, and to take it seriously.
The Inquiry provides the Government with the opportunity to deliver recommendations for much needed improvements for the diagnosis, treatment and support of 1.5 million women living with the disease - and reduce the suffering of future generations.
"We urge all people with endometriosis to take part in the survey. This is a huge opportunity to push for real change for people affected by endometriosis and shape the way care is delivered in the future."
Sir David Amess MP, Chair of the APPG on Endometriosis, added: "The APPG is delighted to give women with endometriosis and healthcare experts the opportunity to share their first-hand experiences of endometriosis so we can produce a set of recommendations to the Government.
"The APPG is committed to raising awareness of the condition and representing the views of those affected and we urge as many people to come forward as possible to respond to the inquiry."
With 1.5 million women currently diagnosed with the disease in the UK, the inquiry is not only timely but deeply necessary.
To help the APPG on endometriosis and Endometriosis UK with their enquiry, you can answer the survey here.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels
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