TEN YEARS: Why a greater understanding of endometriosis is vital
The average time to diagnose endometriosis is ten years.
From presenting symptoms to an accurate diagnosis, a woman sometimes has to wait ten years before they find someone who can give answers. This is one of the reasons why greater awareness of endometriosis as a chronic disease needs to be heightened.
The difficulty in diagnosis
The nature of this chronic disease lends itself to being quite difficult for GPs to diagnose (see: Endometriosis: it affects 1 in 10 women). The first step is greater awareness: by GPs and by women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain.
The symptoms of this debilitating disease range from crippling pain and fatigue to “mild” pain and headaches. Mild is in quotations because pain is such a subjective thing.
What is tolerable for one person may be crippling for another.
A greater understanding of Endometriosis
Sadly, a staggering number of women who experience chronic pelvic pain do not do anything about it (see: Did you know that most women who experience chronic pelvic pain don’t visit the doctor?). Because seriously, outside of a dictionary definition who knows what constitutes chronic?
Everyone has a unique pain threshold. So, a good rule of thumb is this: if pain is interfering with your day-to-day activities there is something wrong. Common symptoms include painful periods, pain during sexual intercourse, pain at the time of your period when opening your bowels or even non-cyclical persistent pelvic pain.
This is not intended to scare, but to insist that no one knows your body better than you.
So if you are suffering pelvic pain then visit your GP. Alternatively, you can visit us for an ultrasound.
If something is wrong, our compassionate team offer specialised tests to improve diagnosis and help you get the treatment you need to get on with your life.
Knowing what to expect
There are plenty of myths floating around the internet about supposed “cures” for endometriosis (see: Endometriosis: separating the myth from the fact). Unfortunately, there is no cure YET. But research is always being carried out to learn more and more about this disease.
There are other myths like pregnancy cures endometriosis or that endometriosis causes infertility. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but these usually occur because of other factors at the time of pregnancy.
Endometriosis does not automatically mean you cannot have children (see: Endometriosis and fertility: the statistics that may surprise you). The severity of endometriosis can affect your ability to conceive naturally: for example, ¾ of women with minimal-mild endometriosis who try for a baby will be pregnant. While only a ¼ of women with severe endometriosis who try for a baby will be pregnant.
A greater awareness of the symptoms of endometriosis is VITAL
Ten years is too long. Especially since the technology to accurately diagnose endometriosis is here now. The medical understanding of this disease is growing daily, so what we need now is more awareness.
This is a chronic disease. One that is difficult to diagnose but far more difficult to live with. At OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care we can help diagnose endometriosis with ultrasound technology guaranteed to provide accurate diagnosis.
If you would like to know more, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.