March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. It is a debilitating gynaecological condition that affects one in ten women from puberty to menopause, although the impact can be felt for life.
It can cause inflammation, scarring and adhesions, leading to severe pain and many other symptoms, including painful sex and infertility.
Many do not realise they have a medical condition that can be treated.
One in five women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, yet more than half of them do not realise it is a medical condition and do not seek help.
There have been several positive developments, but more needs to be done.
From next year every child in England will be taught about menstrual wellbeing and efforts are being made to support GPs in identifying endometriosis.
This will help tackle alarming diagnosis times for endometriosis, which averages at 7.5 years.
The aim is that women and girls get the right treatment at the right time, according to the support charity Endometriosis UK.
There is a need for more scientific research as there is currently no cure for endometriosis and we don’t yet know what causes it.
As well as the individual misery, endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of work, and healthcare costs.
I’m working with Endometriosis UK to urge the Government to help improve awareness, diagnosis, and research of endometriosis.
We need to ensure women do not suffer in silence with conditions such as endometriosis.
For more information, please visit www.endometriosis-uk.org/