Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK, affecting 1 in 10 women. However, recent research by the charity, Endometriosis UK, confirms that 54% of people in the UK do not know what Endometriosis is.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, which aims to increase awareness and understanding of the condition.
This will hopefully be helped with the recent launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into endometriosis; with the objective of making recommendations to the Government about care and treatment for those who suffer from it.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is where endometrial-like cells, which line the uterus, grow elsewhere in the body. Every month the cells build up, break down and bleed. Because they are located outside of the uterus, the blood cannot leave the body. It can cause pain, inflammation, cysts and the formation of scar tissue. Although there are some theories, the cause of endometriosis is still unknown.
Endometriosis can be a long-term chronic condition that can lead to infertility. It can have a severe impact on the sufferer’s life. Symptoms might include pain during periods and ovulation, heavy and prolonged periods, irregular periods, pain during or after sexual intercourse, pain during bowel movements or when passing urine and fatigue. It can have a significant and debilitating effect on education, work and day-to-day activities.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines on the diagnosis and management of endometriosis state that delayed diagnosis is a significant problem for women with endometriosis, with patient self-help groups reporting that health professionals often do not consider endometriosis as a diagnosis.
On average, it takes 7.5 years for a diagnosis to take place, as other conditions are often excluded before endometriosis is considered.
Diagnosis can only be made by a laparoscopy: where a camera is inserted into the pelvis to see whether endometriosis is present.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis; however there are different types of treatment which aim to reduce symptoms. For example, pain management treatment, hormone treatment or surgery. Surgery could include a hysterectomy (the removal of the womb) or Oophorectomy (the removal of the ovaries).
How Burnetts Can Help
You may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation if you suffer from endometriosis and it has not been treated properly. For example, if there has been a delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis or inappropriate medical care.
Burnetts have specialist medical negligence solicitors, who are accredited by the AvMA and Law Society panels, who can investigate your claim and help secure compensation.
The compensation awarded will be to cover the additional pain and suffering as a result of any substandard care, any past losses such as loss of earnings and also to cover any ongoing additional ongoing needs as a result of the negligence such as future loss of earnings and care.
If you would like to speak to someone within our team to discuss whether you may have a clinical negligence claim then please contact our offices on 01228 552222.