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Endometriosis care needs urgent improvement, MPs say

Endometriosis care across the UK needs urgent improvement and diagnosis times need to be cut in half, a report by MPs says. It found an average wait for a diagnosis was eight years and that has not improved in more than a decade.

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the UK and causes debilitating pain, very heavy periods and infertility.

Nadine Dorries, minister for women's health, said awareness was increasing but there was still a long way to go.

More than 10,000 people took part in the All-Party Political Group inquiry which found that 58% of people visited the GP more than 10 times before diagnosis and 53% went to A&E with symptoms before diagnosis.

The majority of people also told MPs their mental health, education and careers had been damaged by the condition.

About 90% said they would have liked access to psychological support but were never offered it, with 35% having a reduced income due to endometriosis.

Helen-Marie Brewster, 28, from Hull, has been told by doctors that her only remaining treatment option is a full hysterectomy. She had symptoms throughout secondary school but was only diagnosed when she left education.

"GPs ask me to explain to them what endometriosis is, because they don't know. They're the ones who are meant to help."

"Last year I visited the A&E department 17 times trying to find help and pain relief for this condition, even for just a few days so I can keep going. The wait time for diagnosis is so long that in that time it's spreading and doing more damage the longer it is left untreated... We can't carry on like this."

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Source: BBC News, 19 October 2020

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