Endometriosis: 'No choice but to continue living in pain'

It takes an average of eight years and ten months for sufferers to be diagnosed, new research has found.

Endometriosis diagnosis times have significantly worsened in the UK, according to a leading charity.

Endometriosis UK say more commitment is needed by the Government to reduce delays for more than 1.5 million women suffering from the condition.

According to new figures, it now takes over a year longer than before the pandemic.

In Scotland, it is eight years and ten months; an increase of four months.

Jasmine Collett has been in pain since she was 21.

She told STV News: “As the years went on, I began experiencing symptoms such as really bad back pain. The back pain is usually the worst to the point where it is difficult to walk.

“The stomach cramps get really bad. You’re being sick because of the pain, leg ache as well that is quite a unique one that I suffer with.”

It took surgery to confirm the diagnosis.

But as there’s no cure for the condition, Jasmine has no choice but to continue living in pain.

She said: ‘‘Unfortunately, over the last few years, I have found myself and my body struggling to keep up with the running, netball and physical side of things.

“It’s really challenging and I’m really pushing myself to do it.”

Aberdeen scientists are now at the forefront of ground-breaking research to help predict earlier diagnoses of endometriosis, but also to help treat the condition.

Dr Lucky Saraswat is the lead researcher at Aberdeen Endometriosis Centre

Dr Lucky Saraswat is the lead researcher at the Aberdeen Endometriosis Centre.

She said: ”There are some new research projects on the horizon which is looking at non-hormonal treatment, they are led by Edinburgh in collaboration with Aberdeen.

“We are looking at big data to create an earlier prediction model for earlier diagnosis.

“We are also looking at novel treatments such cannabinoids for pain. They haven’t quite started yet but they will be coming very soon.”

Marion Graham, from Kincardineshire, was a teenager when she first noticed the symptoms of endometriosis – but it took decades to eventually confirm it.

She’s now helping others who suffer like her and has set up a local support group for people to come together and share their stories.

Marion said: ”It’s difficult. It’s very difficult, it’s hard for my kids to watch me in pain.

“It can be very isolating which was one of the things about the group, that there are other people you can talk to who understand.”

The charity say governments are failing to recognise the impact of the condition and say commitments to drive down diagnosis time must be made.

Endometriosis UK CEO Emma Cox said: “There is a gynaecological waiting time, so things like endometriosis went up by the highest percentage anywhere, so I think there is an issue where gynaecological health is not being taken seriously.

“We’re still seeing people waiting an awful long time waiting to try and access the care they need.”

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