Why is the Medical Community so Uneducated About Endometriosis?

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We all rely on the medical community to receive high-quality preventative care as well as treatment for our ailments. Women’s medical issues have been historically under cared-for and written off as their own problem. In addition, in all medical professions and practices, the proportion of male to female medical practitioners is much higher, even in obstetrics and gynecology. We all rely on our doctors to give us the best care and present us our options for treatment after a diagnosis. Along with those listed above, there are several reasons that the medical community is so uneducated about Endometriosis and why the proper diagnosis can sometimes take years.

  • Endometriosis symptoms aren’t taught thoroughly enough to medical students and professionals. Without proper education about the stages and symptoms of Endometriosis, medical students may learn bad habits and misdiagnose the condition when they begin practicing. Education and understanding are key to helping more women get the proper diagnosis sooner and provide the attention and care needed for the pain and discomfort associated with it.
  • A common misconception that the tissue buildup outside of the uterus is the same as that found in the uterus, it is just similar in composition, not the same. This is a very damaging misconception about Endometriosis and often results in extreme measures being taken which may not actually stop the problem. Hysterectomy is cited as a cure-all for endometriosis, when even that may not stop the tissue buildup or the pain. The uterine tissues and those which attach outside the uterus are not the same, and buildup on other organs can still occur after the uterus is removed.
  • Diagnosis of Endometriosis is difficult. Endometriosis cannot be diagnosed through image testing or lab work. The only concrete way to diagnose it is through surgery and biopsy of the tissue. Some doctors may be reluctant to put their patients through a surgical procedure before they have ruled out other medical possibilities.
  • Women’s pain is often dismissed or described as “normal” by doctors, leading to diagnoses that can take years. Historically, women’s pain has been largely ignored or dismissed as “normal” by medical practitioners. One of the first steps for the medical community to take is to listen carefully to women’s descriptions of their pain and take it seriously. While many do take it seriously, it can still take a long time to get the proper diagnosis.
  • Squeamishness around women’s health in the pelvic region, and lack of understanding of women’s bodies. While the medical community is made up of highly educated professionals, there is still some squeamishness and discomfort when talking about women’s health issues. While this should not be the case, it does still occur. Having extensive education about women’s health and removing the lack of understanding from the equation can move Endometriosis diagnosis, research, and treatment forward.

Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose, but there are other factors involved when a diagnosis can take years. Education, research into diagnostic techniques for Endometriosis, and awareness of symptoms are all essential to getting women the support and treatment they need for this painful condition.

SOURCE: https://www.vitalhealth.com/endo-blog/what-it-really-means-to-have-endometriosis/

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