Future of Endometriosis care

It takes an average of 10 years to receive an Endometriosis diagnosis but research at BC Women’s hopes to change that.

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Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue from the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. It affects one in 10 women and the symptoms can be devastating.

Studies suggest it takes an average of 10 years to receive a diagnosis.

Although Gynaecologists may be able to offer a preliminary diagnosis based on symptoms, pain mapping exams, or ultrasound findings – the only definitive diagnosis is through a laparoscopy.

Women are often dismissed for just having bad period pain. Which means it’s frequently left undiagnosed and untreated. Diagnosis is especially challenging for those living in remote communities.

That’s where BC Women’s comes in.

Researchers at BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis conducted a study on their interdisciplinary model of care, which combines traditional treatments (like surgery and hormones) with more non-traditional methods including:

  • physiotherapy,
  • physiological treatments – like mindfulness,
  • and pain education.

The results were incredible.

Not only was there a reduction in physician and emergency room visits by 50% (which has incredible implications for savings for the healthcare system), they also noted improvement to quality of life, and a decrease in severity of pain.

They demonstrated that physical outcomes improve when women feel in control of their health.

And, of course, we’re all thinking… that makes total sense. But with this data, there is now a strong case for other centres to adopt this model of care.

What we love about this research is that it means that symptoms that are unique to women, like painful periods, are starting to be taken more seriously.

“Painful menstrual cramps, painful sexual activity, other pelvic pain is as important a symptom to me as if someone described chest pain or shortness of breath or lower back pain” – Dr. Paul Yong, Research Director and Gynaecologist at the Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis

Their next goal is to promote their interdisciplinary model of care internationally.

Follow their team, @PelvicPainEndo.