January 21, 2024

UK Women with Endometriosis Told It’s “All in Their Head” by NHS

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A recent study conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University found that women with endometriosis felt “gaslit” by doctors due to their lack of understanding of the condition. The study also found that treatment was subject to a postcode lottery. Patients in rural areas reported traveling for hours to access a specialist with full training in the complex gynecological condition. Endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows around other organs inside the abdomen. It affects 1.5 million women in the UK. The study looked at the experiences of treatment and diagnosis of 33 patients and revealed how doctors’ lack of understanding of the symptoms meant women often spent years in pain before their condition was diagnosed. During this period participants were told they were exaggerating their symptoms, or their pain was dismissed as psychological. The study concluded that “a lack of confidence to challenge medical experts meant that participants were likely to accept the medical discourse and avoid seeking help in future”

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