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Why Does It Take So Long To Diagnose Endometriosis?

Wayne Whitehurst January 16, 2020

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects one  in 10 women – but most of these women will have to wait a decade to discover the cause of their pain and discomfort.According to the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor, many women  dismiss their distress, fatigue and painful periods and intercourse as regular symptoms of menstruation. But as a disease that worsens with the passing of time and causes irreparable damage to the reproductive system, it’s crucial for endometriosis to be  diagnosed early.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis ( ‘endo’ for short) is a disease that causes endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, to grow outside of your uterus where it does not belong. As your hormones change throughout your menstrual cycle, this tissue breaks down, causing distress and leaving long term painful scar tissue.

Why does it take so long for women to get a diagnosis?

Endometriosis sufferers are  impacted by the disease differently. The symptoms experienced with endometriosis differ greatly, and many symptoms (such as constipation and stomach aches) are similar to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Ovarian Cysts.

The after-hours doctors at House Call Doctor note many patients report that other doctors have dismissed their symptoms. This may lead women to accept their pain, leaving the disease undiagnosed and potentially causing fertility issues.

The main issue is that the only definitive way to diagnose endometriosis is through an invasive laparoscopic surgery. This surgery is expensive and carries risks for patients, as they must be placed under anaesthetic. As a result of this, sufferers of the disease may not seek the treatment they need.

How to get diagnosed sooner

Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, the impact they are having on you and any family history of the disease. If your symptoms are ignored, speak to another doctor and ask the question – could this be endometriosis?