Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide during their most reproductive and productive years.
Many of these women struggle daily with the symptoms of endometriosis:
• Pain at menstruation, ovulation, intercourse, bowel movements, urination
• Fatigue, bloating, nausea, heavy bleeding
• Possibly a susceptibility to develop other diseases, including certain cancers
• Birth control pills
• Hormonal suppression
• Surgical removal and, for some, hysterectomy.
For most women, side effects are associated with all of these treatments, and none of them cure the disease.
Why do we never hear of endometriosis?
Even in the most “liberal” of countries, female health issues, in particular those associated with menstruation, painful intercourse and infertility, are topics that are not readily discussed in society. They are still taboo in the 21st century.
Yet, all of these are associated with endometriosis, and women who are affected have to deal with these challenges on a daily basis. Unfortunately many mistakenly believe that “pain is part of being a woman” – even though pain is the body’s way of saying: something is not right.
This lack of awareness leads to an average diagnostic delay of up to eleven years in some health care settings.
Endometriosis may be progressive, and recent research has indicated that a delayed diagnosis can be associated with more severe disease.
This is why it is so important that we invest in research to find the cause and prevention.
With sufficient funding WERF’s work will result in a major and beneficial influence on the diagnosis and management of endometriosis.