If you are one of the roughly 10% of women worldwide suffering from endometriosis, you’ll know just how frustrating and painful the condition can be. Seeking a correct diagnosis and effective treatment plan isn’t easy and the condition can have all kinds of implications on your health.
A new review has identified the barriers associated with endometriosis care and the areas which need to be improved. Here, we’ll look at what the review revealed, and the areas needed to be improved in order to diagnose and treat the condition.
Understanding the review
The expert review published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was carried out by a Society for Women’s Health Research group. It included input from researchers, patients and clinicians on the concerns over barriers to endometriosis care.
At the moment, the condition is under-researched and underfunded, leading to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Numerous barriers were identified in the report including:
- Lack of awareness as well as knowledge about the condition
- Treatment option limitations
- Stigma surrounding women’s pain and menstrual issues
- A lack of non-invasive diagnosis tools
- Difficulty getting access to care
The experts behind the review are hoping it will lead to further research into the condition and the development of better diagnosis and treatment options.
More research required into basic biology of endometriosis
In order to speed up diagnosis, experts recommend more research needs to be done into the basic biology of endometriosis. This will allow a much deeper knowledge of the condition and enable professionals to give a more accurate and faster diagnosis.
It will also help with the development of non-invasive diagnostic tools. As it stands, diagnosing the condition can be invasive and this does put women off seeking a diagnosis.
A call for future treatments to be patient-centric
In terms of endometriosis treatment, experts are calling for a more patient-centric approach. The current treatments available do not work for all women, and if they do, the relief is sometimes only temporary.
The treatments available also largely focus on managing pain and other symptoms. A good example is the removal of endometrial lesions. These lesions are often removed in the hope of eliminating pain, as well as reducing the chances of infertility. However, the actual link between lesions and these types of symptoms isn’t fully understood. So, removing them won’t necessarily eliminate the pain, and if it does there’s a chance that pain could come back.
In order to improve endometriosis care, experts are claiming a patient-centric approach is key. Instead of focusing on just one symptom at a time, the treatments provided should instead be focused around the patient as a whole. They should also be provided by a team of experts in medical management, laparoscopy, physical therapy and pain education.
Endometriosis can be an incredibly painful and debilitating condition and this new report shows just how much improvement is needed within its treatment and diagnosis. More research needs to be carried out to understand the biology of the condition and to develop better, faster diagnosis procedures.