I participated in last Tuesday’s Cross-party Group on Women’s Health, which focussed its work last week on endometriosis.
Chaired by Monica Lennon MSP, we heard from many women about the excruciating pain they have suffered over so many years due to a disease which is unique to each woman, takes on average seven and a half years to diagnose and can be difficult to treat. There is no cure. There also seemed to be a lack of understanding of the disease amongst some GPs, nurses and other health professionals.
About one in ten Scottish women live with endometriosis. Pictured with me are Katy Johnson, who has endometriosis, Emma Cox, Chief Executive of charity Endometriosis UK, Monica Lennon MSP and Dionne McFarlane.
Both Katy and Dionne gave very emotional accounts of the severe impact endometriosis has had on their lives.
Both Emma and Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences Andrew Horne thanked me for my work on successfully pursuing the establishment of a west of Scotland specialist unit for the treatment of endometriosis which will open next year in Glasgow.
The ‘Endo warriors’ who work to raise the profile of the disease were also praised.
All 45 people present agreed that more had to be done in schools to raise awareness of endometriosis among girls and that the issue of menstrual health should be addressed directly in our schools, given that 12% of Scottish girls who experience their first period had no idea what it was, let alone knew about endometriosis.
Endometriosis UK can be contacted on their 0808 808 2227 helpline. Information is at www.endometriosis-uk.org