Endometriosis diagnosis delay on the rise in Australia

A young woman experiencing stomach pain while lying on the sofa at home (Image Credit: iStock).

– By Natasha Hortis 

Endometriosis is considered more common than diabetes or asthma, according to Endo Help Australia CEO Kat Stanley.

“The most recent data shows that one in seven women have endometriosis, which makes it more common than asthma or diabetes,” Ms Stanley said.

Historically under-recognised, endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects every aspect of a person’s life and can lead to reduced participation at work, school or social activities.

A recent survey conducted by the Allan Labor Government in 2024 concluded that half of all women are impacted by issues related to periods, pregnancy or conditions like endometriosis.

The study found that one in three said they’d experienced insensitive or disrespectful practitioners who left them feeling dismissed and unheard.

Endo Help Australia is an organisation that aims to educate and empower to bring awareness to the issues surrounding endometriosis.

Common misconceptions about endometriosis have seen a trend of major diagnosis delays among many young Australian women.

“Because of the stigma wrapped around it, there’s a diagnosis delay of up to four to six years,” Ms Stanley said.

The Australian Government’s 2024 Endometriosis Progress Report outlines the Endometriosis Support Budget within the health sector.

The report’s findings detail that $17.4 million is being used to open 22 specialised Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain GP clinics, which will focus on offering treatment and improving the delay of diagnosis within the women’s health sector.

The report highlights the Federal Government’s national action plan for endometriosis up to 2026.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare summary report, Australians with the disorder spent an average of $30,900 in 2017.

In 2024, these expenses for medical treatment continue to put a financial burden on Endometriosis sufferers.

“It costs the Australian economy $7. 4 billion a year and the individual about $30 000 a year,” Ms Stanley added.

One of the biggest non-government researchers of the chronic condition, Endometriosis Australia, states that one million Australians now live with endometriosis.

23-year-old advocate Miora Trainor was diagnosed with endometriosis at 21 years old, after two years of first seeking help from health professionals.

“I was very lucky in getting my diagnosis. I was taken pretty seriously from the get-go, which I know is not the experience of most people with endometriosis,” Ms Trainor said.

She heart-wrenchingly describes her experience living with the chronic condition.

“On some mornings, I wake up with extreme cramps or nausea or headaches. My immune system is a lot weaker as well because it fights the growth of the endometriosis,” she added.

“I get sick quite quickly and often, and quite badly, which also affects my everyday life in the long run,”  Ms Trainor added.

In an Australian first, the Women’s Pain Enquiry aims to ask Victorian women and girls to share their own personal experiences with pain.

This enquiry aims to help identify how to improve treatment and services for chronic pain conditions like endometriosis.

The enquiry will examine systemic issues within the women’s health sector by hearing directly from women across Victoria.

Victorians can participate by making a submission before the end date of 31 July 2024.

 

 

Natasha Hortis

Natasha Hortis is a writer and creative studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University. She has volunteered for multiple charities and is passionate about journalism as it is educating and informing, to empower those who may not have a voice. Natasha wants to be a journalist to make readers connect to the stories and investigate the real matters that have a big impact on the world.

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  • Natasha Hortis

    Natasha Hortis is a writer and creative studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University. She has volunteered for multiple charities and is passionate about journalism as it is educating and informing, to empower those who may not have a voice. Natasha wants to be a journalist to make readers connect to the stories and investigate the real matters that have a big impact on the world.

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Natasha Hortis

Natasha Hortis is a writer and creative studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University. She has volunteered for multiple charities and is passionate about journalism as it is educating and informing, to empower those who may not have a voice. Natasha wants to be a journalist to make readers connect to the stories and investigate the real matters that have a big impact on the world.

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